The New York Giants are reportedly pursuing Green Bay Packers linebacker Blake Martinez as the new league year approaches.
After missing out on Nick Kwiatkoski, the New York Giants are still exploring the market for an inside linebacker.
According to Matt Lombardo of NJ Advance Media, Big Blue is making a ‘strong push’ for Blake Martinez. The 26-year-old just wrapped up his fourth season with the Green Bay Packers.
Martinez, 26, led all linebackers with 114 solo tackles last season. pic.twitter.com/e1gju0wlTo
— Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardoNFL) March 16, 2020
Martinez was the NFL’s co-leader in tackles in 2017. During that campaign, he racked up 144 combined tackles (96 solo). Martinez recorded 155 total tackles this past year with three sacks, one interception, and one forced fumble.
Tom Silverstein and Jim Owczarski of USA Today reported in February that Martinez “will be seeking at least $10 million per year” in a new deal. It’s unclear if the Giants would be willing to dish out that type of cash for a player who’s yet to make a Pro Bowl or be selected to an All-Pro team.
How Martinez would fit in the Giants defense
It’s still unknown if new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will primarily be running a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. Regardless, Martinez would definitely be at the top of this linebacker corps.
He would perform alongside Ryan Connelly, who’s looking to return better than ever after suffering an ACL tear last year. David Mayo will additionally be in the mix. Mayo recently signed a three-year extension with New York after recording 82 combined tackles in 16 games (13 starts) last season.
So if the linebacker corps includes Martinez, Connelly, and Mayo, does that mean the Giants would be out on drafting Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons?
Not necessarily. Simmons is extremely versatile and athletic, meaning the Giants could use him in a number of roles, not just specifically at inside linebacker.
They may also use Mayo more on special teams and in certain packages. Don’t expect him to automatically be an every-down linebacker, especially if Connelly and Martinez are around.