The New York Giants signed outside linebacker Kareem Martin in 2018 with the anticipation that he would be an impactful player on the defensive front.
A former player for defensive coordinator James Bettcher, Martin was versed in his schemes and play-styles, allowing him to help his teammates adapt. I feel as though that was his primary usage and role last season, as he only racked up 48 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
What does Kareem Martin count against the New York Giants’ cap?
General manager Dave Gettleman signed Kareem on a three-year, $15 million deal, and it’s very unlikely the Giants elect to cut him this offseason due to his dead-cap hit.
Counting 5.941M against the cap, Martin also holds a $4.833M dead-cap hit which only represents a $1.1M increase in cap-space if cut. The Giants are better off keeping him around and utilizing him in a similar role to Markus Golden and Oshane Ximines.
However, the 6-foot-6 defender could see his role diminished alongside Ximines and Golden, two new players looking to leave their mark in their first season with the team. Martin will earn a pretty penny to be a glorified teacher.
On a positive note, Martin did rack up 10 QB hits last season, showing that he’s capable, to an extent, when it comes to getting into the backfield and causing pressure. The Giants and Bettcher will ask the same of him again in 2019, something he needs to improve on and provide more value.
Adding players like Dexter Lawrence and Jabrill Peppers on defense should help in creating more opportunity in the trenches. Peppers’ ability to move around the field will force opposing offenses to be more conservative and utilize their tight ends in passing schemes, otherwise, Peppers will play close to the line of scrimmage and blitz.
Lawrence’s massive presence will open up holes for stunts and more efficient blitzes for players like Martin. Overall, we should see more production from the defensive front this upcoming season.