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Report: Linebacker Blake Martinez signing with New York Giants

Giants get inside linebacker they had been seeking

Philadelphia Eagles v Green Bay Packers
Blake Martinez
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The New York Giants, rumored on Monday to be in the market for off-ball linebacker help, appear to be getting that. The Giants are reportedly signing four-year veteran Blake Martinez. The deal is reportedly for three years and $30 million.

A fourth-round pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 2016 NFL Draft, Martinez has started every game for Green Bay the past three seasons, and 57 of the 61 regular-season games he has appeared in overall.

Martinez, 26, was second in the NFL in combined tackles last season with 155, four behind Bobby Wagner of the Seattle Seahawks. Martinez was third in solo tackles with 97. In 2018, he had 144 combined tackles.

Pro Football Focus ranked Martinez as its fourth-best inside linebacker and 64th-best free agent overall. PFF said:

After multiple years of strong grading at Stanford and now multiple seasons in the NFL, as well, Blake Martinez has shown all the qualities necessary to be a superstar linebacker and complete player - he’s just never shown all the qualities at the same time. He has earned top-level grades in all facets of the game but hasn’t been able to put them all together in the same season, and this year, in particular, he looked like a liability at times against the run. Martinez doesn’t have the athleticism to make up for plays where he is late to read things developing, and he has missed double-digit tackles in each year of his career.

There are those who believe pass coverage is not a Martinez strength, but his passer rating against in 2019 was 90.8, lowest of his career, though he did allow 58 completions in 69 targets (84.1 percent).

The Giants parted ways this offseason with former defensive captain Alec Ogletree, and are also not expected to re-sign Deone Bucannon. They did re-sign David Mayo, but most likely for depth and special teams.

The Martinez signing is the third big move the Giants have made on defense, having franchise tagged defensive tackle Leonard Williams and signed free agent cornerback James Bradberry.

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