Wayne Martin – Saints Defensive Lineman of the 90s

Wayne  Martin zeros in on the Ravens Vinny  Testaverde
Wayne Martin zeros in on the Ravens Vinny Testaverde

As the Saints First Round Draft Pick of the 1989 NFL Draft Defensive End Wayne Martin was expected to make an impact on one of the NFL’s most dominating defenses of that time. The hard-hitting linebackers of the Dome Patrol were just beginning to come into own and along with the veteran lineman like Frank Warren and Jim Wilks, the rookie from Arkansas would need some pretty big plays to fit in.

He made a little noise with 2-and-a-half sacks that first season and by 1990 was a 1st-team starter. And the Saints defense was all the better for it. The early 90s marked a watershed era for the Saints defense as they ranked in the top 10 in just about every major NFL defensive category for that time period. In 1992 the Saints led the NFL in sacks with 57 and Wayne Martin led the Saints with 15-and-a-half sacks. He was a Pro Bowler in 1994 and after 11 seasons in New Orleans he tallied up 82.5 sacks – good enough to still be #3 on the All Time Saints Team Sack Leaders list.

In the picture above, Wayne is barreling down on the Baltimore Ravens quarterback Vinny Testaverde. That meeting, in 1996, Martin recorded 1 sack – the only by the Saints that day. He would go on to lead the Saints in sacks for the season with 11. In all he was the team’s leading sack man 4 times during his 11-year career.


Wayne Martin’s Career with the New Orleans Saints

Games Sacks Tackles
Asst
Fumbles
Forced
Fumbles
Recovered
Interceptions Touchdowns Safeties
1989 16 2.5 18
0
0 2 0 0 0
1990 11 4.0 30
0
1 0 0 0 0
1991 16 3.5 22
0
1 1 0 0 0
1992 16 15.5† 70
0
3 2 0 0 0
1993 16 5.0 68
0
1 2 0 0 0
1994* 16 10.0 59
14
1 0 0 0 0
1995 16 13.0† 64
13
1 1 1 0 0
1996 16 11.0† 73
15
3 1 0 0 0
1997 16 10.5† 54 9 1 1 0 0 0
1998 16 3.0 38
5
0 1 0 0 1
1999 16 4.5 35
6
0 2 0 0 0
Totals 171 82.5 531
65
12 13 0 0 1
* – Pro Bowl
† – Led Team for Year
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