NFL Linebacker Found $672K Pokemon Card And Abruptly Retired

Blake Martinez retired from the NFL because he had to catch ’em all.

The former Las Vegas Raiders linebacker called it quits last week at just 28, telling the team he was hanging up his pads just days after recording 11 tackles in a loss to Jacksonville.

Martinez revealed the news on his Instagram, saying he chose “to step away from this career at this time to focus on my family and future passions!” Well, turns out that passion is very similar to something we all used to dabble in … trading Pokemon cards!

Martinez recently sold a Pokémon Illustrator card with a Gem Mint 9.5 rating for $672,000. Don’t ask what all that means, because I don’t know.

What I do know is that money is more than double what Martinez could have made if he stayed with Las Vegas the rest of season.

So, the former Stanford-educated linebacker made the smart decision and chose full-time Pokémon trading rather than taking on 400-pound lineman every Sunday.

Not a bad choice!

Blake Martinez leaves NFL for Pokemon.
Blake Martinez chose a Pokemon life over the NFL. (Getty Images)

Blake Martinez retires from NFL, Raiders for Pokemon

Martinez apparently has a company called Blakes Breaks that collects and trades rare cards, and flips them for a nice chunk of change.

He announced his retirement just days after collecting his $672K for his rare find.

Take a look:

In another Instagram video, Martinez revealed that he started collecting cards when he was 6 (duh), and then fell back in love with the game during the pandemic in 2020.

He eventually started the business, ran into a trophy collector, and eventually ended up with his lottery-winning Illustrator card.

Evidently, that transaction was enough for him to leave the NFL – the Raiders being a dumpster fire probably didn’t hurt, either – and start a new career hunting rare Pokemon.

Different worlds. What a time to be alive.

Written by Zach Dean

Zach grew up in Florida, lives in Florida, and will never leave Florida ... for obvious reasons. He's a reigning fantasy football league champion, knows everything there is to know about NASCAR, and once passed out (briefly!) during a lap around Daytona. He swears they were going 200 mph even though they clearly were not.

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