The New York Giants need to strengthen their linebacking corps. They believe they can do just that by adding Kareem Martin to the fold.

Martin, 26, was selected 84th overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2014 NFL Draft after playing collegiately at North Carolina. He started 10 games in 2017 for the Cardinals with 18 total tackles (13 solo), three passes defended, a forced fumble, and a sack.

Martin has plenty of upside. He can play in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. Martin is familiar with defensive coordinator James Bettcher, who was the Cardinals’ linebackers coach (2013-14) and defensive coordinator (2015-17). He showed flashes of potential throughout the 2017 season.

Martin can provide depth at the linebacker position. This is especially important because it provides greater flexibility in how Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon are used are Bettcher’s defense.

The Giants are all too familiar with Martin. He strip sacked Eli Manning in a Christmas Eve 23-0 beatdown at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Martin’s signing would be a win for the Giants, in spite of his lack of pass rushing ability. His knowledge of Bettcher and his defense can only benefit the team. Martin’s health is a factor as well. He’s played in 56 of 64 games in the past four seasons, including complete 16-game seasons in 2015 and 2017. The linebacking corps was particularly infected by the injury bug last season with five players on injured reserve.

Martin’s addition would help offset the loss of Devon Kennard, who reportedly will sign with the Detroit Lions. Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson, and Kelvin Sheppard are also unrestricted free agents.

– Curtis Rawls is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL and the New York Giants. Please like and follow on Facebook and Twitter. Curtis can be followed on Twitter @CuRawls203.


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