Giants' Blake Martinez: Packers Didn't Value ILBs as Much as Other Teams in FA

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMarch 31, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 23: Blake Martinez #50 of the Green Bay Packers on the sidelines in the second quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 23, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The New York Giants officially welcomed linebacker Blake Martinez, who agreed to terms with Big Blue on a three-year contract reportedly worth $30 million earlier this month, on Monday. 

Martinez gave insight into where negotiations fell apart with the Green Bay Packers during a conference call on Monday:

"I think the way they value the inside linebacker position especially in that defense, it wasn’t as valued as other places I guess in my opinion. Overall, it was one of the things where they offered me, and we were just in different wavelengths on where I valued myself and where they valued it. At the end of the day, it was one of the decisions that had to be made on both sides. It's a business and right now I am extremely happy where I am and can't wait to start playing for the Giants and finally get into the facility."

The 26-year-old also disclosed what made New York so appealing to him in free agency:

The Giants hired Patrick Graham as their new defensive coordinator in January. He previously coached Martinez as the Packers' linebackers/running coordinator in 2018.

Green Bay used a fourth-round pick on Martinez in the 2016 NFL draft.

Martinez started every regular-season game in each of the last three seasons for the Packers. The Stanford product led the league with 144 tackles in 2017, and he recorded a career-high 155 tackles last season.

Martinez led Green Bay in total tackles in 2017, '18 and '19. Overall, he has three sacks, three picks, two passes defended, one forced fumble and 512 tackles (331 solo) across 61 games (57 starts).

Despite those numbers, he criticized the way he was utilized in Green Bay's defense:

The Giants also added former Packers outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell and former Carolina Panthers cornerback James Bradberry in free agency.

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