Giants release Alec Ogletree and Kareem Martin, clearing cap space but leaving huge void at linebacker

The New York Giants released linebackers Alec Ogletree and Kareem Martin Wednesday, the team announced, signaling more changes coming to the defensive side of the ball this offseason under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. 

Ogletree spent two seasons with the Giants at outside linebacker, finishing with 173 tackles, two sacks, six interceptions and two defensive touchdowns. He finished with 80 tackles and six passes defensed with an interception in 13 games last season, but opposing quarterbacks had a 107.0 passer rating when targeting him, completing 83% of their passes. New York saves $8.25 million in cap space with Ogletree's release (per Over the Cap). 

Martin was heading into the final year of a three-year, $15 million contract with the Giants. He played just five games last season (no starts), having just six tackles after missing several weeks with a knee injury. Martin started seven games in 2018, his first year with the Giants, finishing with 48 tackles and 1.5 sacks. The Giants save $4.8 million with his release. 

While Graham uses mostly a base 3-4, he has designated multiple schemes during his year as defensive coordinator with the Miami Dolphins. Graham has shown a 6-2 and 4-3 front, which leaves room for multiple personnel and versatility at linebacker. The Giants have a projected $75,011,717 million in cap space (per Over the Cap) with the Ogletree and Martin releases, leaving them extra room to retool their defense in free agency. 

Ogletree and Martin are free to sign with any team before the start of free agency since they were released by the Giants before the start of the signing period. Ogletree should have a strong market for a team that has a 3-4 defense, especially since he is just 28 years old and is coming off a five interception season just two years ago. 

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