Where does edge defender Kareem Martin fit in vastly re-organized New York Giants’ defense? Let’s examine that question as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp later this summer.
How he got here
The Giants signed Martin to a three-year, $15 million contract ($7.25 million guaranteed) a year ago, believing that the former Arizona Cardinals third-round pick was an ascending player who could help the Giants on the field and in the classroom as they transitioned to a new defense under James Bettcher.
The Giants were right about Martin. To an extent. He tied his career-high with 1.5 sacks, and set career highs with 10 quarterback hits and 48 tackles. He played a career-best 610 defensive snaps. His knowledge of Bettcher’s defense after playing for him in Arizona helped other defensive players learn the new playbook.
What Martin was not, though, was a dynamic force off the edge. That is why the Giants signed Markus Golden as a free agent and selected Oshane Ximines in Round 3 of the NFL Draft.
Where does all of that leave Martin?
Right now, that leaves him as depth. Golden and Lorenzo Carter figure to be the starters on the edge, with Martin and Ximines as the primary depth. Carter’s knowledge of the defense, and the fact that he played with Golden, defensive lineman Olsen Pierre and safety Antoine Bethea in Arizona, remains a plus.
Still, what if the Giants want to find roster space for someone like the seemingly forgotten Avery Moss, or a undrafted free agent like Mark McLaurin? Could the fact that the Giants can save $3.275 million against the salary cap by cutting Martin make him a player on the roster bubble entering training camp?
We will find out in a few weeks.