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NFL news, 2/12: Doug Martin to test free agency, Cam Newton reaction, more

Let's look at the headlines around SB Nation.

Doug Martin
Doug Martin
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images


Let's spend part our Friday afternoon looking around the NFL to see what is going on outside the world of the New York Giants. We do that by looking at what the other fine SB Nation NFL blogs are writing about in a little feature we call "Touring the Nation."

Free agency notes

Bucs Nation isn't very happy about the reports that Tampa Bay Buccaneers' running back Doug Martin will "test the market" in free agency.

"... the Bucs want to build through the draft, developing players in-house. Letting Martin walk doesn't exactly fit that strategy, and neither does going with second-tier options like Lamar Miller and Chris Ivory. Those players may be able to help the Bucs' offense, but you can't build a running game around them the way you can with the Dougernaut.

"More than that, trying to save a few million per year seems unnecessarily cheap given the fact that the Bucs are set to have over $50 million in cap space this year -- and that's with Logan Mankins and Vincent Jackson returning, who are likely to be gone after this year. There's no long-term salary cap problem that will be exacerbated by paying Doug Martin $8 million instead of $6 million per year."

Would the Giants jump into the bidding for Martin if he is available? Yours truly has long thought that GM Jerry Reese would have selected Martin instead of David Wilson had the Bucs not beaten him to the punch by one pick back in 2012.No matter what you think of Rashad Jennings or the committee approach the Giants used in 2015 it's clear that the 27-year-old Martin, a first-team All-Pro in 2015, is superior to any back the Giants. I will continue to wonder if Reese will try to re-write history if given the chance.

Mile High Report is debating who the Broncos should sign if they have to make a choice between quarterback Brock Osweiler and defensive tackle Malik Jackson this offseason. We know which choice Giants' fans would hope for.

Music City Miracles is wondering the Titans should chase recently-released Giants offensive linemen Geoff Schwartz and Will Beatty. Yours truly helped them out with some background.

-- "Kudos" to BBV Facebook manager Dan Berkman for posting the reactions of Schwartz and Beatty after being released.

Kraft pokes the Manning brothers

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft took a pretty silly poke at Peyton Manning and Eli Manning this week.

"I happened to see Archie [Manning] there [at the Super Bowl]," Kraft said. "He has two sons who have won two Super Bowls [each]. But with all due respect, we have one son who has won four."

Kraft, of course, is talking about Tom Brady. That's a nice spin, but it denies the obvious fact that without those Manning brothers Brady and the Patriots would have even more titles.

More from the nation

Our Carolina Panthers blog, Cat Scratch Reader, marks the retirement of Giants' linebacker Jon Beason with a tribute to the player the Panthers drafted in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

Cat Scratch Reader is also addressing the Cam Newton question in the wake of his reaction to Sunday's Super Bowl loss to the Denver Broncos. It can't be a surprise that CSR defended the quarterback:

"... I think the reason for Newton's saltiness in that press conference really didn't have as much to do with losing, or hearing the Broncos bragging in the background as much as it does with this.

"Cam Newton is growing to dislike the media, and that's putting it nicely. He doesn't trust them with detailed answers because he knows they really don't care about that. They just want him to crack so they can then continue to perpetuate the myth they started in the first place."

In my view, that's wrong. The reason, rightly or wrongly, that Newton's post-Super Bowl performance received so much criticism is that Newton can't have it both ways. He can't dab, do his Superman stuff, take selfies and all that when the Panthers win, then pout like a child when they lose and not expect blowback. You have to be able to act like a professional when things don't go your way, especially on that stage, and Newton didn't do it. That, in my view, is why he's been getting ripped by many in the media. Archie Manning, incidentally, stuck up for Newton.

Have you been following the whole LeSean McCoy mess? If not, you can catch on the allegations from a bar fight McCoy was allegedly involved in via the StoryStream at Buffalo Rumblings.

SB Nation's Stephen White gives credit to Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips for the Broncos' Super Bowl victory:

"It isn't just that Phillips' game plan looked a lot like the one I said that Denver should employ. It's also that he had the guts to actually implement such a plan that was both unconventional and fraught with huge potential downsides if it didn't work. Had Cam Newton run for a bunch of yards on scrambles with the edge rushers getting upfield, there would have been no shortage of people second guessing Phillips after the fact and wondering why he didn't just do what everybody else does against mobile quarterbacks. You know, the bull rushing and shit. I could hear that imaginary peanut gallery right now grilling him on the wisdom of also playing so much man-to-man with his pass rush going at Newton full throttle." ...

"Fortunately for Denver, Phillips decided to believe in his players' immense talents without worrying about who wouldn't approve or agree. He knew what most people who actually watched film of that defense also knew: with the right game plan those guys were made to stop an offense like Carolina's, even with a quarterback as physically gifted as Newton."

Danny Kelly writes about Marshawn Lynch, addressing what the retired running meant to the Seattle Seahawks, and to him personally: