Raiders expected to make strong push for Doug Martin

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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Doug Martin could be heading to the West Coast soon.

Raiders coach Jon Gruden recently arranged for a face-to-face meeting with the running back and came away impressed with him as a person, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Oakland is expected to make a strong push for Martin in free agency, Rapoport added.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released Martin last month after six seasons.

The 29-year-old running back is attempting to salvage the next stage of his career after rushing for fewer than 425 yards each of the past two seasons.

The 5-foot-9 running back has one of the most volatile careers of any current NFL player. Martin burst onto the scene as a rookie, dashing for 1,454 yards on 319 carries with 11 rushing TDs. He then cratered, failing to break the 500-yard mark the next two seasons and missing 15 games. Martin returned to form in 2015, galloping for 1,402 yards, second-most in the NFL, en route to an All-Pro bid and a sizable contract.

He was suspended four games late in 2016 for violating the league's performance-enhancing drugs policy.

The past two seasons Martin has been one of the least efficient running backs in the NFL, struggling to break tackles, losing his early-career burst and failing to gain positive yards on most carries. In 2016 and 2017, he averaged 2.9 yards per carry on 282 combined carries.

Martin ranks No. 87 in NFL.com's Top 101 Free Agents in 2018.

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