Saturday, April 1, 2023

Linebacker, captain Blake Martinez accepts pay cut to stay with Giants

Linebacker, Captain Blake Martinez Accepts Pay Cut To Stay With Giants

Blake Martinez agreed to take a pay cut on Friday to stick with the Giants, following Sterling Shepard’s lead.

The team also cut tight end Kaden Smith with a failed physical designation and re-signed exclusive rights free agent David Sills.

Martinez, 28, a defensive captain and middle linebacker, is recovering from a torn left ACL suffered in Week 3 of last season.

GM Joe Schoen asked Shepard, the team’s longest-tenured player, and Martinez, one of the Giants’ leaders, to take pay cuts if they wanted to stay.

Schoen is trying to clear $40 million in cap space just to allow the Giants to sign their draft class and spend frugally on value free agents this week.

Martinez’s pay cut was first reported by Jordan Schultz. Newsday reported that Shepard and Martinez both agreed to base salaries of roughly $2.25 million with a change to double that money with incentives, possibly tied to playing time.

Schoen has now cleared about $24 million of cap space by releasing tight ends Kyle Rudolph ($5 million) and Smith ($2.5 million), running back Devontae Booker ($2.125 million) and punter Riley Dixon ($2.8) — and by cutting the salaries of Martinez and Shepard, reducing their cap hits by about $6 million apiece.

Smith, 24, has a knee injury that is possibly career-threatening. His release reinforces that the Giants will be in the market for tight ends in both free agency and the draft.

The NFL players’ association had the Giants $6.9 million in the red on cap space as of Friday, so they’re now treading water with more moves expected, including possibly trading or releasing corner James Bradberry, safety Logan Ryan and/or running back Saquon Barkley.

The Giants need $19 million simply to fit the salary cap hits of their nine-player draft class, per, including two top seven picks that will cost $6.5 million on their own.


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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