Jets' Martin re-works contract to provide more cap room
In what figures to be one of his final moves with the New York Jets before his anticipated retirement, tailback Curtis Martin has re-worked his contract for a second straight year, and provided the team more salary cap room.
According to league salary documents, Martin, who missed the entire 2006 season with a knee injury, reduced his 2007 base salary from $3.25 million to $820,000 which is the NFL minimum for a player of his seniority. He also voided the 2008 and 2009 seasons of the eight-year contract extension that he signed in August 2002.
Last year, Martin agreed to reduce his salary from $2.5 million to $810,000 when it became clear he would not be able to play because of a knee injury. The restructured contract will save the Jets more than $2 million in cap funds this season.
New York has plenty of salary cap room, but the additional space might permit the team to address potential extensions for some veteran players.
The fourth-leading rusher in NFL history, Martin has not played since injuring his knee on Dec. 4, 2005. There were rumors he might attempt to play again this season, but Martin is now expected to retire at some point before training camp.
Martin, 34, has carried 3,518 times for 14,101 yards and 70 touchdowns in 168 games with New England (1995-97) and the Jets (1998-present). Only Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton and Barry Sanders have compiled more rushing yards.
After using three different starters at tailback in 2006, and finishing 20th in the league in rushing offense, the Jets acquired Thomas Jones in a trade with the Chicago Bears this spring, and he is the projected starter.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com