New England’s Curtis Martin, only one of seven players in NFL history to begin a career with three 1,000-yard rushing seasons, signed an offer sheet with the New York Jets Friday.
The deal is worth close to $36 million for six years, with a $4 million guarantee in the form of a roster bonus, signing bonus and salary for 1998. Martin can opt out of the deal after one year and become a free agent, which makes the contract more difficult for the Patriots to match.
The Patriots have one week to match the offer.
Martin, now a restricted free agent, was taken in the third round of the 1995 draft by then-Patriots coach Bill Parcells, currently the Jets’ coach.
“I want nothing less than the best for the New York Jets organization,” Parcells said about signing Martin.
Patriots spokesman Don Lowery refused to say whether the Patriots would match the offer.