Giants release Blake Martinez: Veteran LB was working his way back from serious knee injury

Giants release Blake Martinez: Veteran LB was working his way back from serious knee injury

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Two days after making their initial 53-man roster, inside linebacker Blake Martinez was released by the New York Giants. In a corresponding move, the Giants acquired veteran offensive lineman Tyre Phillips off waivers from the Baltimore Ravens. 

A team captain in 2021, Martinez tore his ACL during the Giants’ third game of the season. The Giants reworked his contract in March, which reportedly saved New York about $6 million in cap space entering free agency. Martinez had one year remaining on a three-year, $30.75 million contract he signed going into the 2020 season. 

Martinez, 28, was selected by the Packers in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. A part-time starter as a rookie, Martinez blossomed into a full-time starter entering his second season in Green Bay. He led the NFL with 144 tackles during his second season. Martinez matched that tally in 2018 while also recording a career-high five sacks. He had 155 tackles during his final season in Green Bay while helping the Packers reach the NFC Championship Game. 

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During his lone full season in New York, Martinez posted 151 tackles along with three sacks, an interception, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He had 23 tackles last season before sustaining his season-ending injury. 

Despite his previous success, it appears that Martinez was unable to find a place in first-year defensive coordinator Wink Martindale’s defense. With Martinez out of the picture, the Giants may look to rookie Micah McFadden to have a bigger role this season. McFadden had a strong preseason and was one of New York’s leaders with 13 tackles over the three exhibition games. 

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