The New York Giants are going to be active in free agency this offseason. The team is going to have over $80 million in cap space to spend on free agents if they choose to and so far they have reported interest in nearly every big-name player set to hit the market this month.
According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Giants have a “passing interest” in the Green Bay Packers’ free-agent linebacker Blake Martinez.
Blake Martinez Stats and Highlights
Blake Martinez is a four-year NFL veteran who has spent his entire career with the Green Bay Packers. The 26-year-old linebacker out of Stanford is a tackle machine. He is also a reliable, healthy player that has started all 16 games for the Packers in each of the last three seasons.
Martinez has recorded 144 or more combined tackles in each of the last three seasons. He posted a career-high 155 combined tackles in 2019. In 2018, Martinez only missed 12 tackles (7.7%) and in 2019 he missed 18 tackles (10.4%).
The Packers inside linebacker is also a pretty decent pass-rusher, despite seeing his role as a pass-rusher decline in 2019. In 2018, Martinez blitzed 61 times, recording 11 pressures, 5 hurries, and 5 sacks. The Packers only brought Blake on 24 blitzes in 2019, but he was still efficient. He recorded 5 pressures, 2 hurries, and 3 sacks on his 24 blitz attempts this past season.
— NFL (@NFL) September 6, 2019
Blake Martinez is an excellent run defender and solid pass-rusher, but he has proven to be a bit of a liability in pass coverage. In 2018, Blake Matinez surrendered a 73.8% completion percentage on the 61 targets in his coverage (45 completions). The opposition gained 410 yards on those 45 completions and scored 5 touchdowns. Martinez allowed a 118.9 passer rating when targeted in 2018.
2019 was an even worse performance by Martinez in pass coverage. His completion percentage allowed rose to 83.8%, allowing opponents to complete 62 passes on 74 targets for 570 yards and 2 touchdowns. This is definitely a major red flag for teams interested in signing Blake Martinez during the 2020 free agency period.
Blake Martinez’s Market Value
If the Giants want to sign Blake Martinez in free agency, they are going to have to break the bank. According to Spotrac, Martinez has an estimated market value of $16.3 million on average annually. His contract could be a 5-year deal worth over $81 million.
This would be a lot of money for the New York Giants to commit to an inside linebacker that does not make impact plays in pass-defense. There are other linebackers that will be available this offseason for a similar price that can be much more efficient in pass coverage.