NFL free agency opens next week, and things will start to get a little nutty rather quickly. The "tampering period" will see some rumors flying this way and that, and then March 9 is when things will go crazy.
The San Francisco 49ers have a ton of cap space, so it is all but certain they will be used by agents to push up contract values. I don't mind the rumors, but we still have to take them with a certain grain of salt. Which brings us to Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin.
Earlier today, Matt Barrows put together a rundown of some of the 49ers-related scuttlebutt he was hearing at the 2016 NFL Combine. He mentioned that Doug Martin had been mentioned as a player some thought the 49ers might take a run at when free agency opens. He is coming off a season in which he rushed for 1,402 yards. He rushed for 1,454 as a rookie, and then had two down years under 500 yards each in 2013 and 2014. The Bucs elected to not pick up his fifth-year option, and it's safe to say he finished his rookie contract strong.
Martin was born in Oakland and grew up in Stockton. Earlier Monday, I did an interview with a radio station based on Boise. This was prior to Barrows article, and they happened to ask me if Martin might be on the 49ers radar, or if Carlos Hyde was the guy. I told them that I think the 49ers might add some depth, but they will not spend big money or high draft picks on the position.
Nonetheless, the fact that the host mentioned Martin, and now Barrows is mentioning Martin has me thinking we'll hear his name floated with the 49ers at some point. I don't think it will happen, but his agent will put it out there. The 49ers showed last season that you need a lot of depth at running back, but also that you could find decent options without spending a whole lot. The 49ers will look to add to their depth, but it will not be Doug Martin.