Chiefs Urged to Sign 5-Year Defensive Starter in NFC

Getty New York Giants linebacker Blake Martinez.

With kickoff for Week 1 of the NFL regular season just days away, there are still opportunities for the Kansas City Chiefs to sign some of the free agent talent that’s leftover from roster cutdowns after the preseason.

Heading into the regular season opener against the Arizona Cardinals, the Chiefs have a very young linebacker room. The oldest linebacker on the 53-player roster is Darius Harris, who is 26 years old. The other three linebackers on the active roster are Willie Gay Jr.(24), Nick Bolton (22), and rookie Leo Chenal (21).

While the linebackers no doubt have plenty of talent to hold their own throughout the season, it wouldn’t hurt to bring in a veteran that could provide situational snaps for Kansas City’s defense. That’s why one analyst believes the Chiefs should sign a free agent linebacker with lots of experience in the NFL.

Rill: Chiefs Should Sign Blake Martinez

Jake Rill of Bleacher Report named three players the Chiefs “must pursue” after the preseason, including veteran linebacker Blake Martinez.

Martinez, 28, entered the NFL as a fourth-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2016. He would go on to be a four-year starter in Green Bay, accumulating 686 tackles, 39 tackles for loss, 18 quarterback hits, and 13 sacks during his time with the Packers, according to Pro Football Reference.

After the 2019 season, Martinez took to free agency and signed with the New York Giants. He started 16 games for them during the 2020 season and started three games for them during the 2021 season before he tore his ACL and was forced to miss the remainder of the season.

This summer during roster cutdowns ahead of the regular season, Martinez was released by the Giants.

“When a player as talented as Blake Martinez gets released, most teams should show interest,” Rill wrote on September 5. “That’s especially the case for the Chiefs, who have only four linebackers on their active roster and could use a boost at the position heading into the 2022 season.”

Rill believes that, for the correct cost, Martinez could be a valuable addition to the Chiefs.

“Now, Martinez just needs to find a new team,” Rill wrote. “If he ends up not costing too much, then Kansas City should try to find a way to add him, as he could take its defense to another level this year.”

Twitter Reacts to Martinez’s Release

Twitter users reacted to Martinez being released by the Giants.

“I really think Buffalo could use a Blake Martinez type leadership role in the LB room to put that D over the hump. They have Milano and Edmonds which are solid but with the addition of Von Miller. It’s all in!” one Twitter user wrote.

Really believe Omar Khan & @steelers should bring in Blake Martinez,” another user wrote. “He is only 28 and was one of the leading NFL tacklers at the MLB position. This guy is a solid run stopper and could be a great addition with a low cost.”

“Im trying to come up with a reason for why we would release Blake Martinez a week before the season,” another user wrote. “This is confusing. Outside of cap reasons. But you mean to tell me keeping Darius Slayton was more valuable to a starting MLB? This is a head scratcher. Unless its injury related.”

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