Giants release Blake Martinez: Veteran LB was working his way back from serious knee injury


Two days after making their initial 53-man roster, inside linebacker Blake Martinez was released by the New York Giants. In a corresponding move, the Giants acquired veteran offensive lineman Tyre Phillips off waivers from the Baltimore Ravens. 

A team captain in 2021, Martinez tore his ACL during the Giants’ third game of the season. The Giants reworked his contract in March, which reportedly saved New York about $6 million in cap space entering free agency. Martinez had one year remaining on a three-year, $30.75 million contract he signed going into the 2020 season. 

Martinez, 28, was selected by the Packers in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. A part-time starter as a rookie, Martinez blossomed into a full-time starter entering his second season in Green Bay. He led the NFL with 144 tackles during his second season. Martinez matched that tally in 2018 while also recording a career-high five sacks. He had 155 tackles during his final season in Green Bay while helping the Packers reach the NFC Championship Game. 


During his lone full season in New York, Martinez posted 151 tackles along with three sacks, an interception, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He had 23 tackles last season before sustaining his season-ending injury. 

Despite his previous success, it appears that Martinez was unable to find a place in first-year defensive coordinator Wink Martindale’s defense. With Martinez out of the picture, the Giants may look to rookie Micah McFadden to have a bigger role this season. McFadden had a strong preseason and was one of New York’s leaders with 13 tackles over the three exhibition games. 

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