The Giants today began what is expected to be a significant restructuring of their defense when they released linebackers Alec Ogletree and Kareem Martin.
Ogletree and Martin played two seasons for the Giants.
Ogletree was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams for fourth and sixth-round draft choices on March 14, 2018. In his two years with the Giants, he started all 26 games in which he played – missing three each year – had a team-high 173 tackles and was twice elected a team captain.
In 2018, Ogletree was second on the team with 93 tackles (58 solo), including one sack, and led the Giants and all NFL linebackers with five interceptions. He tied the single-season record for interceptions by a Giants linebacker, set by Jerry Hillebrand in 1963. Ogletree returned two of the interceptions for touchdowns, on a 15-yard return vs. Tampa Bay on Nov. 18 and an eight-yarder against Chicago on Dec 2. He was the only NFL player with two interception return touchdowns in 2018, and the first linebacker in Giants history to score twice on interception returns in a season.
In the recently-concluded 2019 season, Ogletree again started 13 games and he finished third on the team with 80 tackles (48 solo). Ogletree added one sack, one interception and six passes defensed.
Martin joined the Giants one day after Ogletree, as a free agent from the Arizona Cardinals. In his first season with the Giants in 2018, Martin played in all 16 games with seven starts at strongside linebacker and finished with a career-high 48 tackles (22 solo) and tied his career best with 1.5 sacks.
But Martin played in only five games in 2019. He hurt his knee in the season opener in Dallas, was placed on injured reserve and was sidelined for three months. Martin returned for the season’s final four games and finished the season with six tackles (three solo).