Packers free agency round up: Top LB Blake Martinez to Giants

The Green Bay Packers free agency is not one of the most compelling this season but that’s not to say there aren’t some key deals taking place.

Most notably, top linebacker Blake Martinez has signed with the New York Giants late on Monday and inked a three-year $30 million deal.

Blake Martinez was a fourth round draft pick in 2016 and was about to head into free agency for the first time in his career.

Across his three seasons in Green Bay, Martinez wracked up 10 sacks, 17 pass defences and 512 tackles.

He had a career-high five sacks in 2018 after leading the NFL with 24 tackles the previous year, carving a name for himself as one of the league’s top defensive backs.

The 26-year-old also had a career high 155 tackles in 16 regular season games last season which ranked him second in the league.

Green Bay Packers free agency Blake Martinez to Giants
Out the door – LB Blake Martinez was signed to the New York Giants after leaving the Packers

This was despite playing through with a broken hand in October. In fact, as a Packer, Martinez had 57 starts through 61 games, appearing in all 16 games of the last three seasons.

The Green Bay Packers have signed veteran linebacker Christian Kirksey to a two-year $16 million deal in a bid to help fill the Martinez-shaped hole in their defensive line.

Despite a troublesome injury history, 27-year-old Kirksey could prove to be effective for the Pack with a past working relationship with Green Bay’s defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

This familiarity with how Pettine works shouldn’t be underestimated and this, combined with his 73 games of NFL experience could elevate the Packers’ defensive line come the new season.

Green Bay Packers free agency Christian Kirksey

With a relatively low price tag, Packers fans should consider Kirksey a low-risk solution to solving some inside linebacker problems at Lambeau.

On the other side of the ball, the Packers free agency has also seen them acquire former Lions offensive tackle Rick Wagner.

Wagner signed a two-year $11 million deal which almost certainly guarantees Brian Buluga’s exit.

The Packers must have decided they could not afford to pay what Buluga would fetch on the free market and so have gone for a cheaper option.

Packers free agency has left a lot to be desired so far

Earlier this week, Jimmy Graham was signed to a two-year contract with the Chicago Bears after being let go by the Packers previously.

There could still be a number of key decisions and deals left to be made but as it stands, the Green Bay Packers free agency leaves a lot to be desired.

Fans looking for the Packers to pick up some exciting receiving options in the form of Austin Hooper or Amari Cooper were left disappointed as they signed with the Browns and the Cowboys respectively.

The Packers will need to be savvy with draft picks if they are to improve their roster from last season’s performance.

What are your thoughts? Head over to our Facebook page to join the discussion.

Katie Feehan
Born in Yorkshire, Katie is a freelance journalist currently based in York. As a keen sports writer, Katie has a diploma in Multimedia Journalism from the Press Association and has worked on the busy Newcastle Chronicle sports desk. She has also written for Gateshead FC and contributed to various websites including HITC and Give Me Sport.

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