Packers should consider signing free agent Doug Martin

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 12: Running back Doug Martin
TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 12: Running back Doug Martin /

The Green Bay Packers should consider signing Doug Martin.

The 29-year-old running back is now a free agent after being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Green Bay Packers are entering a pivotal offseason after missing the playoffs for the first time in nine years. A new general manager is in charge, and many significant changes to the coaching staff have been made.

Green Bay is in need of experience at the running back position. Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery were inconsistent all season and failed to provide adequate balance for the Packers’ offense.

Aaron Rodgers still has to do it all by himself. No one worth mentioning at the tight end position has again crippled this offense for the fifth season in a row. The receivers are aging and slow. The team has intriguing youth at running back, but the position could use some experience.

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers /

Green Bay Packers

Doug Martin was released by the Buccaneers after an up-and-down stint in Tampa Bay. The Boise State product was the last pick of the first round in 2012 and made two Pro Bowls in his time in Tampa Bay. Injuries and suspensions derailed his consistency and ultimately rendered him expendable.

Green Bay qualifies as a logical landing spot. Martin will not be an expensive signing, given that he is an unrestricted free agent well before the main free agency period. As a 29-year-old, Martin will likely not command a long-term contract either, as a running back into his 30s is not worth an aggressive investment.

The Packers also would not be affecting their compensatory draft pick situation after signing Martin. Ted Thompson‘s free agency strategy was always obvious. The team almost never signed an unrestricted free agent who’s contract expired from his previous team, for doing so would affect the amount of compensatory draft picks the team would acquire the following year.

Because Martin was cut by the Bucs, the Packers don’t have to worry about this reality. Green Bay signed Julius Peppers, Jared Cook and James Jones all as unrestricted free agents after being cut by their prior teams. Martin fits the team’s approach perfectly, and would give the team a desperately needed jolt of experience at the position.

For a team that desperately needs an infusion of talent at the skill positions, Martin would be a good, inexpensive start.

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The Packers have a fairly high draft for the first time since 2009, and should be aggressive in their attempts to build the roster back up. Martin would be a strong way to add a scheme-fitting, experienced, cheap option to check off one need from a long list of problems on the team’s roster.