Martin, who played his college ball at Pittsburgh, was drafted by the Patriots in the third round (74th overall) in the 1995 NFL Draft. Martin played three years for the Patriots, helping lead the team to its second ever Super Bowl appearance in 1996. Some other honors Martin received during his time with the Patriots included the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, two Pro Bowl appearances (1995, 1996) and two All-Pro appearances (1995, 1996). His 1,487 rushing yards in 1995 were a Patriots rookie record.
Martin's 14,101 career rushing yards have him ranked 4th all-time. While his career in New England came to a premature end, and he will mostly be remembered for his time with the Jets, I will always have fond memories of Martin.
In fact, growing up, Martin was my favorite player (Drew Bledsoe was a close second). He remains a class act and a really good person. In fact, a chance encounter with Martin at the Patriots' team hotel during the 1996 season was one of the primary reasons I ever became so passionate about pursuing a career in football and sports journalism (I was six at the time, and Martin was more than happy to spend a few minutes at me, late at night on the eve of a game). To this day, I still have the youth size small jersey that Martin signed for me.
What are your thoughts on Martin's excellent, albeit brief, career with the Patriots?