By Will Burchfield
It was a busy morning in the Detroit Lions front office on Friday.
In a span of about two hours, the team doled out new contracts to three players, including running back Theo Riddick and punter Sam Martin.
Per Ian Rappoport:
Rapoport later reported that Martin’s contract is worth a total of $13.6 million, with an additional $1 million available through incentives. At $3.4 million per year, Martin will become the third highest paid punter in the league, tied with Andy Lee of the Carolina Panthers. Dustin Colquitt of the Kansas City Chiefs leads the way with an average salary of $3.75 million.
Martin is entering his fourth season with the Lions, after being selected in the fifth round of the 2013 draft out of Appalachian State. He has averaged 41 yards per punt in his NFL career.
But the Lions weren’t done there.
Shortly after news broke of Martin’s extension, Rapoport reported that Riddick had inked a new deal as well.
Riddick will earn $4.25 million per year, making him the 13th highest-paid running back in the league, ahead of the likes of Todd Gurley, Matt Forte and Mark Ingram. Adrian Peterson sets the pace, at $14 million per year.
A pass-catcher extraordinaire, Riddick was tied for first among NFL running backs last year with 80 receptions. He also finished second with 697 yards and added three receiving touchdowns. He is less effective running the ball – just 143 yards on 43 carries last season – but the Lions ground game figures to be led by Ameer Abdullah moving forward.
Riddick, also entering his fourth NFL season, was drafted by the Lions in the sixth round of the 2013 draft out of Notre Dame.
Earlier in the day, the Lions signed offensive lineman Chase Farris to the practice squad. He took the place of the recently-released George Winn.