Blake Martinez, one of the Packers’ starting inside linebackers over the past four seasons, has left town, signing a three-year $30 million deal with the New York Giants. Now that his time in Green Bay has come to an end, Martinez has spoken out against the Packers. He specifically had some strong words about defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
After signing with the Giants, it was revealed that Blake Martinez and the Packers never had serious discussions about his returning to the team. Martinez has now claimed that Pettine never allowed him to do the things he wanted to do in the defense. He also claimed that the Packers do not put high value into the inside linebacker position. There may be some truth to this claim, however, as the Packers have not used many resources to bring in much help at inside linebacker. Perhaps this is why the Packers were happy to take a chance on Christian Kirksey with a low-risk contract.
Martinez Takes It Further
The disgruntled Martinez took his comments further when he discussed Kyler Fackrell, who is joining Martinez in New York. According the Martinez, Fackrell also was never allowed to do the things he knew he could. In addition, both Fackrell and Martinez had to act as cleanup guys. One of the reasons the two linebackers picked to play for the Giants is because of Patrick Graham, the Giants’ defensive coordinator. Graham coached the Packers’ linebackers in 2018, and Martinez says that the two became close during that time.
Martinez’s Legacy in Green Bay
Martinez was originally drafted by the Packers in fourth round (131st overall pick) in the 2016 NFL draft. Even before he was drafted, he was graded to be an “average linebacker at best.” He was said to lack play-making ability and did not defend the pass very well. These criticisms may sound familiar to Packers’ fans, as they are the same criticisms he has received over the past four seasons. Last season, Martinez set a career high with 17 missed tackles. We’ll see how he does in New York.
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