Former Green Bay Packers, New York Giants and Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Blake Martinez has been in the spotlight a good amount in recent weeks, and one of the reasons has nothing to do with football.
Three weeks ago, Martinez sold an extremely rare 1998 Pokémon Illustrator card through Goldin Auctions for the price of $672,000. This was more than 50 percent of his 2022 salary with Las Vegas ($1.12 million).
Martinez was seen showing the Pokémon card to Rick Harrison and “Chumlee” of Pawn Stars in Las Vegas, Nevada. Harrison owns the world-famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, the main location for the popular television series.
Martinez surprised many when he announced via Instagram on Nov. 10 that he was retiring from football, citing the desire ” to focus on” his family as well as his “future passions.”
From getting nearly $700,000 on a Pokémon card to suddenly retiring from football, it’s certainly been an interesting last few weeks for the former linebacker.
The former Stanford star joined the Giants on a three-year pact in 2020 free agency. He nearly led the team to a surprise NFC East division title in 2020, but the Washington Football Team (now Commanders) won the crown by a single game.
Unfortunately, Martinez suffered an ACL tear in Week 3 of last season against the Atlanta Falcons. That would be his final game with the Giants, who wound up releasing Martinez ahead of the 2022 season.
The linebacker-needy Raiders signed Martinez in October. In four game appearances, he posted 20 total tackles. He finishes his career with 706 total tackles, 13 sacks, four forced fumbles, four interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
Now that he’s retired from football, Martinez has all the time he desires to look for more luxurious Pokémon cards. Perhaps he’ll continue to make a fancy profit through the trading card business in his post-football career.