Safety Derrick Martin, a key member of the special teams last year, became the first of eight potential restricted free agents the Green Bay Packers were able to take off the market before the signing period begins March 5.
The Packers and Martin, 24, agreed on a two-year contract extension Monday, ending about two weeks of talks between the two sides, Martin's agent, Brad Cicala, said. Though he wouldn't give specifics of the deal, Cicala said it did include guaranteed money Martin might not have received had he gone into free agency.
“Derrick wanted to stay,” Cicala said. “They were fair with us, and we were fair with them.”
Martin was acquired from the Baltimore Ravens Sept. 5 in exchange for offensive tackle Tony Moll and became an instant contributor on special teams.
Martin started at safety in the fourth game of the season after Atari Bigby injured his knee, and Martin struggled in that game. He played sparingly on defense the rest of the season.
A former cornerback, the 5-10, 198-pound Martin, moved to safety during the 2009 off-season with Baltimore and didn’t have a chance to play corner with the Packers.
Cicala said Martin would like to be more involved with the secondary next year, possibly as a nickel corner, which is where he played most of his first three years in Baltimore.
The Packers' other restricted free agents are: safety Nick Collins, end Johnny Jolly, cornerback Will Blackmon, guard Daryn Colledge, fullback John Kuhn, guard/center Jason Spitz and Bigby.
(story courtesy of JSOnline)
(photo courtesy of Daily Radar Ball Hype)
The signing of Derrick Martin is a great decision by Ted Thompson. Since acquiring Martin at the beginning of last season, he immediately had a nose for the football and eventually became a special teams playoff captain.
While he may be one of the least important players of the 7 restricted free agents remaining to be signed, he significantly helped a Packers special teams coverage unit that ranked in the bottom half of the NFL.
Martin's agent mentioned he would like to see his client play the nickel corner next year. I would like to see Martin start there if and only if Ted Thompson doesn't upgrade in that postiton and would rely on guys like Jarrett Bush or Josh Bell to play that position instead.....but that's a different rant I will save for another day.