The New York Giants reportedly are showing interest in Green Bay Packers linebacker Blake Martinez, who’s slated to hit free agency.
With Alec Ogletree now gone, the New York Giants need someone to succeed alongside Ryan Connelly at the inside linebacker spot in 2020. The NFL Draft is next month, and they could definitely look to select Isaiah Simmons out of Clemson to fix the issue.
But if that’s not the route they decide to take (Simmons may be used more as a safety in the pros anyway), there’s always the open market. With the free agency period commencing in less than two weeks, the Giants could be eyeing numerous inside linebackers.
And according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, one of these targets happens to be Blake Martinez of the Green Bay Packers.
Martinez is coming off his rookie deal with Green Bay, an organization that selected him in the fourth round (No. 131 overall) of the 2016 draft. He’s proven to be a productive linebacker since and was the league’s co-leader in tackles in 2017.
During that specific campaign, Martinez racked up 144 combined tackles with 10 tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble, one pick, and eight passes defended. It’s a season in which he should’ve definitely been selected to the Pro Bowl.
If Martinez came to East Rutherford, he could greatly succeed with Connelly. During his 2019 rookie campaign, Connelly recorded 20 combined tackles, two tackles for loss, and two picks in four games. He tore his ACL in the Week 4 win over Washington, an injury that effectively ended his season.
Amid multiple health-related setbacks to the inside linebacker position, the Giants started David Mayo in 13 games. He put together a decent year (82 combined tackles, five tackles for loss) but isn’t the man for the future. Martinez seems like a guy that could be an integral part of this defense for years. Same with Connelly, but only if he stays out of the trainer’s room.
It’s unclear the type of salary that Martinez would be seeking. It’s doubtful that he’ll want to be the most expensive linebacker in the league though. Regardless, the Giants possess nearly $74 million in available cap room, so a deal could be inked at some point.
The NFL free agency period begins on March 18 at 4:00 p.m. ET.