The Giants made Blake Martinez a surprise cut just before season, releasing the veteran linebacker despite carrying him through to their 53-man roster. The seventh-year defender has resurfaced via multiple scheduled visits this week.
After meeting with the Ravens on Tuesday, Martinez will visit the Raiders on Friday, NFL reporter Jordan Schultz tweets. Martinez has a clear connection in Las Vegas, having worked with new Raiders DC Patrick Graham with the Giants and Packers.
Graham was in Green Bay as the team’s linebackers coach in 2018 and, after a year in Miami, was in New York when the Giants gave Martinez a three-year, $30.75MM contract in 2020. Martinez, 28, played two seasons on that deal, though the second one was interrupted by an ACL tear. The Giants cut bait two weeks ago, doing so despite taking on $7.5MM in Martinez dead money. The team had previously restructured Martinez’s deal this offseason.
When healthy, Martinez stands as one of the NFL’s most prolific tacklers. The former Packers fourth-round pick ripped off a four-season stretch in which he topped 140 tackles each year. He led the NFL with 144 stops in 2017 and notched 144 under Graham, while adding a career-high five sacks, the following year. In his lone healthy Giants slate, Martinez totaled 151 tackles (nine for loss) and three sacks. Big Blue’s Martinez and James Bradberry signings helped the team make a surprising defensive turnaround in 2020, when it ranked ninth in scoring defense in Graham’s debut season. That moved Graham’s name to the HC radar.
The Raiders currently have top inside linebacker Denzel Perryman sidelined due to an ankle injury. Perryman, who missed the Raiders’ Week 2 game against the Cardinals, has not practiced this week.