Martinez: Inside linebacker position not “as valued” in Packers’ system


In this Dec. 29, 2019 photo Green Bay Packers inside linebacker Blake Martinez reacts after a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit. By adding linebacker Christian Kirksey and offensive tackle Rick Wagner this week, the Packers signaled that they would be moving forward without two key veterans. That became apparent when linebacker Blake Martinez announced he was joining the New York Giants. The Packers confirmed reports of his departure Wednesday, March 18, 2020 on the opening day of free agency. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Blake Martinez officially signed on the dotted line with the New York Giants on Monday. During his introductory teleconference, the former Packers linebacker, described his role in Mike Pettine’s defense and Green Bay’s value of the position.

Martinez’s deal with the Giants is for three years at $30 million dollars, according to multiple reports. Meanwhile the Packers reportedly brought in free agent linebacker Christian Kirksey for two years at $16 million dollars and $4 million guaranteed.

The value the Packers are paying at the position is certainly different between the two deals.

On Monday, Martinez said his discussions with the Packers indicated they weren’t going to offer as much as the Giants.

GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 16: Blake Martinez #50 of the Green Bay Packers awaits the snap against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on September 16, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Vikings and the Packers tied 29-29 after overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

“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,” Blake Martinez said.

“Overall, it was one of the things where they offered me, and we were just in different wave lengths 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.”

Martinez also described his role in the Packers defensive scheme under Mike Pettine as being more of a “clean-up crew guy,” and play off the others on the field.

The fourth year linebacker out of Stanford started all 16 regular season games for the Packers in each of the last three seasons. During that time he led the Packers in tackles, including a career high 155 combined tackles in 2019.

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