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The Giants have surprisingly released veteran LB Blake Martinez. According to ESPN's Jordan Ranaan, the "decision was mutual." We'd bet on Martinez landing elsewhere, and we'll see exactly what the replacement plan is with the Giants. But this is a big move for the top of the current LB rankings.

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The Panthers are adding LB Blake Martinez to their practice squad. You should expect this move to go like Julio Jones' addition in Philadelphia and Darrell Henderson's with the Rams, in that the veteran should move quickly to the active roster. Martinez retired from the Raiders last year. We'll guess he didn't end that retirement to play practice dummy for a 1-7 Carolina squad. The Panthers, of course, sport a significant need at LB. Despite multiple minor injuries, LB Frankie Luvu has led all Carolina defenders at 89.4% snap share for the season. The nearest non-edge LB to him is Kamu Grugier-Hill (45.2%). He got starter-level time the two games after LB Shaq Thompson went down before Panthers coaches realized/remembered he's not very good. Don't be surprised if Martinez steps into the No. 2 LB role over the next few weeks. How much playing time that could mean remains to be seen. Martinez isn't worth a waiver pickup in most IDP formats.

Raiders LB Blake Martinez announced Thursday that he's retiring. It's a shocking move, given that Martinez had made his way into the Raiders lineup after getting his release from the Giants at the start of the season. Martinez appeared in line to start this Sunday against the Colts after the team placed Divine Deablo (forearm) on IR. It's not yet clear who the Raiders will have at LB this weekend. In addition to Deablo and Martinez, Denzel Perryman (hip, ribs) did not practice Wednesday. Jayon Brown -- a healthy scratch in Week 9 -- Luke Masterson and Darien Butler are next in line. Martinez played 5 seasons with the Packers (4) and Giants before losing most of 2021 to an ACL tear.

The Raiders have signed LB Blake Martinez to the active roster from the practice squad and reportedly plan to play him in Monday night's game against the Chiefs. LB Denzel Perryman also might be trending toward a return from the concussion that knocked him out of last week's game. Perryman put in a limited practice Thursday and then returned to full participation Friday. That all makes it tough to know how much LB Divine Deablo will play. He has been the full-timer in Perryman's absence. LB Jayon Brown might be trending toward getting out of the way because of a hamstring injury. After a limited Thursday practice, he missed Friday completely. We'll see about the status of the whole LB crew Saturday.

Giants LB Blake Martinez tore his left ACL in Sunday's loss to the Falcons and will miss the rest of the season. That leaves Tae Crowder as the apparent top LB. He played 61 of 62 defensive snaps against Atlanta and led the team with 11 tackles (plus a pass defensed). Reggie Ragland came on for 65% playing time. The Giants might also consider altering S Jabrill Peppers' role, with Martinez down. Peppers has seen his playing time sag amid struggles in coverage, but he would offer above-average speed at LB and spent a season at the position at the end of college. Martinez will still be just 28 when next season begins, but his contract plus the injury could leave the Giants with an offseason decision to make. The final year on his deal carries a $14.2 million cap hit, according to Spotrac, vs. $5.5 million in dead money if New York trades or releases Martinez.

Giants LB Blake Martinez went down early in the 1st quarter of Sunday’s game against the Falcons with a knee injury. The team has ruled him out for the game, which does not bode well beyond this week. We’ll watch for the official diagnosis

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