The Giants inked linebacker Blake Martinez to a three-year, $30 million contract this off-season which drew mixed reviews from Giants fans.
The Stanford product comes to the Giants from the Green Bay Packers, where he was a tackling machine through his first four years. He collected 512 tackles in his time with Green Bay, an average of 128 a season.
One of the only glaring holes in his game was his pass coverage ability. When the Packers asked him to cover someone, he appeared to struggle. Fans that liked the signing pointed to his tackle numbers and production, asserting that he will be a field general at middle linebacker.
His doubters declared that $10 million a year was far too much of an overpay for someone who struggled in the passing game as much as he did. However, through five games, Martinez has looked really good. His production has sustained itself from his time in Green Bay, he is currently 5th in tackles with 50. In addition to that, he adds two sacks and one fumble recovery to those numbers. He also has not been a liability in coverage thus far.
Whether it’s defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s scheme, or Martinez improving himself, the bottom line is he has looked really good in his time on the field. Not only has Martinez played well on the field, but he also appears to have assumed a leadership role off of it. In his first year with Big Blue, coach Judge awarded him with a “C” on his chest and made him one of six captains for the 2020 season.
For years now, many fans have been ripping into general manager Dave Gettleman for his assembly of the roster.
No matter if the criticism is warranted or not, Giants fans should give him credit for his work in the 2020 off-season.
Not only did he sign Martinez, but he also signed cornerback James Bradberry IV, linebacker Kyler Fackrell, and kicker Graham Gano; all of which have been great additions.
On top of free agency, Gettleman had a pretty good draft. Andrew Thomas has seen his struggles, but there’s hope he can be the franchise left tackle; and players like safety Xavier McKinney, offensive tackle Matt Peart, offensive guard Shane Lemieux, cornerback Darnay Holmes, and linebacker Tae Crowder look like they can be valuable pieces for the G-Men in the future.
The Giants are only five games deep into the 2020 season, and while the record has been disappointing, players like Martinez have been a bright spot on a struggling team.
Fans hope Martinez can sustain this level of play, and maybe rub off on some of his teammates as well.
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