Patriots gridiron news: Making a case for Doug Martin in New England

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 18: Running back Doug Martin
GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 18: Running back Doug Martin /

Two-time Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin was released from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers making him a free agent.  Should the New England Patriots show interest in the veteran running back? 

Yes, the New England Patriots should kick the tires on 29-year-old running back Doug Martin.  The question is, will they?

It is always tough to tell what Bill Belichick will do in the offseason.  There are times they fulfill their needs by signing low cost players, and there are times they make a splash that none of us seen coming.

A player like Martin could fall in the middle of that.  With Dion Lewis testing the market and Mike Gillislee potentially a candidate for a cap casualty cut, the Patriots may have a need at running back.  In particular, they will need a featured back who can run between the tackles.

With two 1,400-plus yard seasons and what he did against the Patriots in 2017, Doug Martin possesses those qualities.  Given his age and pass success in the league, he actually reminds me of Corey Dillon, who came to New England and helped the team win a Super Bowl back in 2004.

Given the fact that he was linked to the Patriots in trade rumors a few seasons ago, Martin should draw some interest.  Of course, he will more than likely have to settle for less money in a prove-it type deal, but if he has a desire to win, he may be at the point of his career where he would be willing to do so.

It also depends on how much interest he gets around the league.  If another team is willing to blow him away with an offer.  Well, forget it.  If the interest is similar to what Adrian Peterson received a year ago, then Belichick and the Patriots absolutely have a chance.

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Adding Doug Martin to the mix of running backs that surely will include James White and hopefully Rex Burkhead (if re-signed) would give the team possibly a better backfield attack than a season ago.

Not to take anything away from Dion Lewis, but Martin is more reliable between the tackles and could also catch the ball out of the backfield.

Gillislee among 8 players team could cut

Mike Gillislee is one of a few options the Patriots will have to save money and go after some of these intriguing free agents.

Gillislee could save the team $2.2 million, but cutting players like Martellus Bennett and Alan Branch could save the team more.  Bennett would actually save the team $6.2 million.  That money could be used to restructure Rob Gronkowski’s contract or sway another tight end if Gronk does retire.

Other possibilities included linebackers David Harris and Shea McClellin, wide receivers Kenny Britt and Phillip Dorsett and safety Jordan Richards.  Gillislee could survive cuts depending on how things go in free agency with fellow running backs Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead.

Next: Patriots gridiron news: Tyler Eifert a considerable option at tight end

Interesting times indeed.