BREAKING: New York Giants cut Alec Ogletree and Kareem Martin

New York Giants, Alec Ogletree

The New York Giants have made two more roster cuts on Wednesday, releasing both Alec Ogletree and Kareem Martin.

Ogletree was traded from the Los Angeles Rams to the Giants in 2018, and while his stats look solid, he has been a liability on defense for Big Blue. His astronomically high 15.8% missed tackle rate last season proved to be his downfall, and Kareem Martin’s inability to stay healthy and contribute was his inevitable collapse.

How do these cuts affect the New York Giants’ cap space?

Cutting Ogletree will save the Giants $8.25 million in cap space while Martin will add about $5 million in cap. Overall, GM Dave Gettleman will now have $13 million more to play with in free agency, as the Giants desperately need a No. 1 corner and pass rush help.

I anticipate the Giants going out and signing a linebacker, cornerback, and potentially a right tackle. Of course, these variables are dependent on their draft strategy and who they want to allocate picks toward.

The Giants will surely continue to make cuts in the coming days, as Rhett Ellison and Antoine Bethea did not produce to expectations in 2019. Bethea could be retained as a backup safety, and his veteran presence is a positive factor, but he simply didn’t grade well in coverage, recording just one interception (which occurred within five yards of the LOS).

If the Giants do, in fact, cut Ellison, they would be saving approximately $5 million in cap, and Bethea would add $2.75 million.

New York Giants: 3 defensive cut casualties after the 2019 season

New York Giants, Antoine Bethea

At 2-10 on the season, the New York Giants should have one priority moving forward — develop their youth. Rookies DeAndre Baker, Sam Beal, Julian Love, Dexter Lawrence, Darius Slayton, Kadem Smith, and Oshane Ximines should all be featured in a high-capacity role for the remainder of the regular season.

Love, who was learning the system for the first 11 weeks, played a significant portion of the team’s Week 13 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He has looked stellar so far, earning the highest grade on the defense, per PFF.

Julian Love had another strong game for the Giants, he made a couple of excellent tackles and forced a fumble coming out of nowhere to surprise Davante Adams. He is the Giants highest-graded player, 83.7 overall, back to back 80+ grades in his first two games with a heavy workload.

With the Notre Dame product making his presence felt, the services of Antoine Bethea aren’t needed an expended capacity. There are numerous veteran defenders that will make way this offseason for the upbringing of the Giants’ youthful players, let’s take a look at who’s on the chopping block.

Three defenders the New York Giants could part ways with:

1.) Alec Ogletree

When GM Dave Gettleman traded for Ogletree two years ago, he imagined a strong run-stopping linebacker. That expectation has not come to fruition, as Ogletree has been an absolute liability in coverage for two seasons and has missed tackles at a consistent rate.

The Giants haven’t been able to get the value they gave up in the trade for Ogletree, and his $11.75 million cap hit this season is astronomical. However, his dead-cap hit of $3.5 million makes him expendable, since keeping him would lock the Giants into $11.75 million in cap allocations. Cutting him and investing the saved money into a better player should be an easy decision for Gettleman, considering his fourth-round pick in Ryan Connelly was able to steal Ogletree’s spot in just one pre-season.

2.) Antoine Bethea

Bethea has been one of the worst free safeties in the league while playing back in coverage. Against the run, he has been stellar, but while featuring as the last man in coverage, Bethea has given up big-play after big-play. Julian Love has supplemented him with ease and proved to be a better option in the defensive backfield.

Despite Bethea’s lack of quality at free safety, his experience and knowledge of the game have been essential to the development of Love, who has looked great through two weeks of active play. The Giants see him as a potential long-term option at free safety, and they will move on from Bethea in lieu of the decision.

3.) Kareem Martin

Most would forget Martin was still on the team, let alone the league. The former Arizona Cardinal was brought in to help establish DC James Bettcher’s scheme and help new/older players adapt.

Martin missed all of 2019 with a sprained knee. His value is next to none and still has one year remaining on his deal. Last season, he played in all 16 games, recording 48 combined tackles and 1.5 sacks. If the Giants retain him, he will count about $6 million against the camp and $1.3 in dead cap if he’s cut.

This should be an easy decision for Gettleman.

New York Giants News, 9/14 – Rookie pass rusher expected to start against Bills

New York Giants, Oshane Ximines

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

When the Giants began the preseason with only Markus Golden, Kareem Martin, Oshane Ximines, and Lorenzo Carter as their primary pass rushers, the expectations for the group were low. Golden hasn’t had a productive season in three years, Martin has never been a consistent pass rusher, Ximines is a mere rookie adapting to the NFL, and Carter was a hopeful sophomore blossom, and in week one against the Dallas Cowboys, they all lived up to those expectations.

After just one week, Martin is already on injured reserve, and the three remaining pass rushers are not only battling their deficiencies but will also face off against a mobile quarterback in Josh Allen on Sunday. Ximines, however, will likely earn the start against the Bills, or be the second man in the rotation due to the injury to Martin.

The Old Dominion product finished week one with just one total tackle. As he progresses and adapts to the speed and physicality of the NFL, we should temper our expectations. It will likely take several weeks for him to show signs of productive growth as a rookie, but he has the tangible skills to rack up his efficiency consistently.

Big Blue View interviewed Ximines, here’s what he had to say:

Q: Biggest adjustment from college to the NFL?

A: “Just getting acclimated with being a pro. Everything you do changes. It’s not like college, where you’re going to get babied through everything. You’ve got to kind of find your routine and make an adjustment quick.”

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

Ed Valentine – Friday 5: Oshane Ximines answers five — hopefully — good questions

John Fennelly – Giants defense has the attitude and desire to succeed

Jordan Raanan – Giants’ season could take shape in Week 2, for better or worse

Tom Canavan – Saquon Barkley’s touches not an issue with New York Giants

Christian Morell – New York Giants: Should Pat Shurmur give up Play-Calling?

New York Giants: Kareem Martin expected to make a bigger impact in 2019

New York Giants, Kareem Martin

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.

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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.

 

Why Kareem Martin Was An Essential Signing For The New York Giants

Making the transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense is about the same as changing your head coach mid-season. Everything is tossed up in the air and the process of building chemistry with the scheme and players is completely scrapped. For the New York Giants, they experienced both.

After Ben McAdoo was fired and Steve Spagnuolo was made interim head coach, the hunt began in regard to the overhaul of the coaching staff and front office. The Giants brought on GM Dave Gettleman and HC Pat Shurmur, who gave former Arizona defensive coordinator James Bettcher an opportunity in one of the league’s biggest market-places.

If Bettcher manages to succeed, it’s expected that he will be offered a head coaching position in 2019, but for now, he’s bringing over a completely new system and scheme to his new club. With Bettcher comes the 3-4 defense, a linebacker heavy defense that relies on making an initial push up front so that the linebackers can exploit gaps and put pressure on the opposing quarterback.

Now, one of the biggest issues with this transition is the process of helping the players learn their positioning and developing a new tool-box. The easiest and most efficient method of approaching this issue is adding players that are familiar with the system – the Giants did just that.

They brought on Josh Mauro and Kareem Martin from the Cardinals, where Bettcher was previously the DC. This provided the Giants with some existing knowledge and a way to help the players transition more smoothly.

At 6-foot-6, 272-pounds, Martin brings a huge body to the outside linebacker position, which is a specific position designed for the 3-4 defense. Martin will help the existing players – Olivier Vernon, Avery Moss, and Romeo Okwara, develop a new skill-set that allows them to succeed as linebackers rather than defensive ends.

According to Martin:

“It’s been really helpful, especially in the transition. Coming from the West Coast to East, it can be really tough. Especially trading teams, not really knowing anyone. But having Coach Betch here and having this defense, it takes a lot of pressure off myself, to having to learn people and learning a defense. So, I think it’s been really helpful for myself and I think it’ll be beneficial for the defense, me being a guy that they can lean on when they have questions about the defense or any of the schemes, I’m comfortable with answering any questions.”

Of course, changing coasts is a significant move for any player, and for Martin, it happened to be a blessing since Bettcher was making the move as well. His support system will remain in place and he will be joining a team that has made significant developmental strides from a roster standpoint.

What should we expect to see?

The 3-4 defense is fundamentally structured to rely on attacking the line of scrimmage and keeping the quarterback on his heels. Unpredictability will be the primary factor to look out for this season, as the Giants have several top-tier linebackers and star safety Landon Collins to shoot the gap and expose offensive line faults.

“Training camp will definitely be fun because the guys in this defense will be able to go full speed and see that oh wow this will really open up, but right now you can go in the gap but you can’t engage.”

With training camp coming up in a few weeks, the defense will finally be able to witness the scheme in live-action. They have been working on the positioning and technical aspects of it, but really going through the motions and actively participating in it will be the essential point to help them fully understand the system.

While Martin has only garnered 51 tackles, 4.5 sacks and one interception in four seasons, he will have the opportunity to reach his potential with the Giants. Despite his totals, his primary purpose was to being a familiarity with the system in which Bettcher trusts.

Giants Make Two Big Free Agency Signings On Opening day

The New York Giants surely weren’t demoralized after losing out on All-Pro left guard Andrew Norwell to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

To kick-off the first legal day to sign players, the Giants and general manager Dave Gettleman went straight after positions of need.

Gettleman has earned the signings of former Arizona Cardinal’s LB Kareem Martin, and left tackle for the Patriots Nate Solder.

The Martin Signing:

The financial details aren’t yet available, but Martin’s signing gives the Giants a boost of familiarity in the middle of the field, as he’s a James Bettcher product.

Bringing in a guy that knows the new system is a good look for Gettleman, as he’s approaching this free agency with a steady mindset. Signing players because they’re good on a specific team doesn’t mean they will work well in any given system.

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His addressing of the linebacker corps with physical players is a good start, and Martin will play a key role on the special teams as well.

The Solder Signing:

Solder is coming to New York! But for a hefty price-tag…

Grabbing the left tackle will surely solidify the line for Eli Manning and co. but is it worth $15 million per-season? We will find out.

Solder played in every game last season, suring up a line that was oft-injured in 2017. He brings experience, grit and intelligence to a line that is made up of predominantly youth going forward.

But holy crap… $15 million per-season is absurd.

The bad news:

The Giants have about zero dollars left to play with. Cuts WILL be made.