The New York Giants announced the shocking release of linebacker Blake Martinez on Thursday, which was the culmination of his downward spiral with the team.
After suffering a torn ACL a season ago, Martinez was away from the club for nearly a year. When he returned, a new regime was in place and he was asked to take a pay cut to remain with Big Blue. And to Martinez’s credit, he did.
But Martinez was sparsely used throughout training camp and the preseason, taking no more than 18 snaps in any of the three games. Many made the assumption that was the result of his ACL recovery but after being excused from practice on Wednesday, it was clear there was more to the story.
Martinez had also lost the honor of being a captain despite the team naming 10 ahead of the 2022 regular season.
The scales had tipped. Martinez apparently wanted out and the Giants were more than happy to oblige.
Blake Martinez’s split with the Giants was a mutual decision, per source. Martinez was excused from practice Wednesday but returned today. The decision was deemed best for both parties.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) September 1, 2022
The salary cap ramifications of Martinez’s release are still a bit murky, but it does not appear the Giants will save any significant amount of money. In fact, they ended up losing out on additional space by not cutting Martinez back in March. They also failed to trade him despite being on a veteran minimum deal — the same minimum deal he’s likely to receive on the open market.
Had the Giants just cut Martinez, they would have saved $8.5M with $5.5M dead money. So they passed on $2.2M in savings to have Martinez on the roster, which is obviously understandable. 2022 is the final year of his contract, so no impact on the 2023 cap either way.
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) March 18, 2022
As I try to make sense of the Martinez release and the timing … surprising they couldn't trade him. He's making the vet min. Any team that signs him will pay him the same salary. Even a 2040 conditional seventh-rounder would save the Giants $1.25M on the cap.
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) September 2, 2022
This situation played out very much like the Logan Ryan situation earlier this year. Now the Giants have over $42 million in dead cap and still need to clear upwards of $5 million in the span of four days.