Raiders Starting LB Abruptly Retires From NFL

blake martinez

Getty Former Raiders LB Blake Martinez.

The Las Vegas Raiders caught a major break this year when the Indianapolis Colts fired their head coach ahead of their matchup. Not only did they fire their head coach but they hired Jeff Saturday to replace him, who has never coached at the NFL or collegiate level. However, the good news quickly stopped coming for Las Vegas.

The team placed Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller on Injured Reserve but that wasn’t the last of the bad news for the Raiders. Linebacker Blake Martinez decided to announce his retirement in the middle of the season despite being healthy.

With the Raiders suffering injuries at linebacker, Martinez had earned a starting role. He played 91% of the team’s defensive snaps last week against the Jaguars. This is a blow for the team as the defense has struggled all season. The former tackles leader joined the team after the season started but had familiarity with Patrick Graham’s defense, which led to him taking snaps early. For whatever reason, he decided he didn’t want to continue forward with the team. It’s certainly a concerning sign that a key player would retire with half the season left to be played. It’ll be interesting to see how the Raiders play against a disaster of a Colts team on Sunday.

Divine Deablo Was Put on IR This Week

The Martinez retirement comes at a really bad time for the Raiders. Divine Deablo was the team’s leading tackler this season but he hurt his forearm against the Jaguars. The injury was bad enough to place Deablo on the Injured Reserve.

Denzel Perryman gets banged up a lot and Jayon Brown has been out for the last four games due to injury. There’s a strong chance the Raiders will have to rely on undrafted rookies Luke Masterson and Darien Butler on Sunday against the Colts. They both had good training camps but there’s a reason they haven’t played a ton of snaps this season. The Raiders are fortunate that they’re going against an offensive that will have somebody who has never called plays calling plays and a quarterback who has never won a start.

Martinez Making a Ton of Money off Pokemon Cards

Martinez has been one of the most productive linebackers in the NFL in his career and is just 28 years old. It’s certainly odd for him to retire at such a young age. It could be due to the fact that he’s making money in other ways. The linebacker has made over a million dollars just by selling Pokemon cards.

“Maybe $500,000 to, who knows? Eight-hundred, 1.5 mil.,” Martinez told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It’s crazy. It’s insane to me, one-hundred percent.”

He’s been collecting for years and finally decided to take advantage of their value.

“I got away from it, but then got back into it about three years ago,” Martinez said. “They were booming and I went, ‘I want to see what my cards are worth.’ But my threw them all our or gave them away.”

He’s already making a lot of money from the card and could even surpass his exepctations.

“There might be a few others out there that I’m not aware of, yet,” Martinez said. “We’ll see where this goes. Hopefully, the bidding goes crazy. I can’t wait to see where it ends up.”

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