Under the Radar
Throughout the off-season many stories have taken the spotlight. The free agency of Tom Brady, the virtual NFL Draft, and do not forget the current pandemic putting a damper on everyday life. With all of the distractions away from football many NFL off-season moves went under the radar. However, this addition to a team trying to pick themselves up from the basement of the NFL has to be discussed.
On March 16th, 2020 the New York Giants signed Blake Martinez to a 3 Yr/$30 M deal with $19 M guaranteed. The Giants are looking to turn around their franchise with a new Head Coach coming over from New England in Joe Judge.This brand new coach to accompany a franchise quarterback and running back should leave the fan base feeling as optimistic as ever. The NFL knows just how special Saquon Barkley is after his Pro-Bowl rookie year. Daniel Jones showed flashes of a true play maker with his big arm. He also showed he can get it done with his legs as well after dashing in the end zone several times. Jones is not afraid to tuck it and run at any point in the game for 15 yards. The New York fan base are all aware of the struggles this team has faced the past several years. Adding Martinez to an already solid defensive unit led by Jabrill Peppers can help this bottom of the league team rise up and possibly even contend for their division title.
Martinez in Green Bay
Since Blake Martinez entered the NFL in 2016 he has done nothing but tackle the ball carrier better than anyone in the league. Of course, besides All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner in Seattle. In his rookie season Blake started in only nine games. Since then he has played in all 16 games in each of the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons. In 2017, Martinez finished the season tied for 1st in the NFL with 144 total tackles. In 2018, the linebacker finished second in the league with 144 total tackles. This was only behind Defensive Rookie of the Year Darius Leonard from the Colts. Finally in 2019, Martinez finished second in the league with a career high 155 total tackles behind only the best defensive player in the game in my opinion.That’d be Bobby Wagner. Martinez’ short career with Green Bay as a starter was impressive. He piled up 512 total tackles with 29 tackles for loss, 17 pass deflections, 10 sacks, and 3 interceptions.
Martinez will become the best player on the Giants defense once the ball is snapped week one this September. This player develops a true skill at finding the ball no matter where it is on the field. Not only is New York going to improve from this transaction but Green Bay may just see their defense allowing more big plays. New York truly needed a linebacker they can count on to stay on the field and maintain their health. Judge, Jones, Barkley, Peppers, and Martinez will look to overcome their low expectations of only six season wins and shoot for the stars with no pun intended. The Dallas Cowboys. Philadelphia will of course contend for the division as well. But with Washington facing struggles in several areas, the Giants could be 2-0 against the Washington Football Team. Not only that, they could even reach an 8-8 record in 2020.
-Fred O’Brien (@FOBSportsNFL)