Former Giants Starter Surprisingly Retires After 7 Seasons

Blake Martinez

Getty Images Linebacker Blake Martinez and the New York Giants during a 2020 game.

Former New York Giants linebacker Blake Martinez is abruptly hanging up his cleats.

On November 10, the seven-year NFL veteran Martinez announced his retirement on Instagram.

“I’m announcing my retirement from the game of football! I had an amazing journey with some incredible franchises, and made lifelong friendships,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “I have chosen to step away from this career at this time to focus on my family and future passions! I am excited for this new journey and appreciate all the fans and organizations that have supported me throughout the years!”


Blaker Martinez Known For Days in Green Bay

The Green Bay Packers drafted Martinez in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft. During his four-year run with the Packers, he ended up starting 57 games.

Martinez became one of the NFL’s most reliable sources of tackles. He had a league-high 144 tackles in 2017 and would lead the team in tackles in three of his four seasons.

While in Green Bay, Martinez had 512 tackles, 10.0 sacks, 29 tackles for losses, 12 quarterback hits, three interceptions, 17 pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries over 61 games and 57 starts.

Before his days in the NFL, Martinez was just a 3-star recruit in the 2012 recruiting class. He decided to enroll and play for Stanford, where he was named a first-team All-Pac-12 member in his Senior year, posting 138 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, and an interception.


Blake Martinez’s Recent History

In 2020, Martinez signed a three-year contract worth $30 million with the Giants after playing four years with the Packers. He started 16 games for the Giants in his first season with the club, posting 151 tackles and recording three sacks. However, he played just three games in 2021 after tearing his ACL.

Martinez was given a pay cut to return to the Giants in March of 2022.

But it seemed that first-year Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale wasn’t buying into playing Martinez, even after making a full recovery and participating in training camp and preseason games. The veteran defender was cut in September prior to Week 1.

Martinez signed with the Las Vegas Raiders in October and played for defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who coached him for much of his career. Graham was in Green Bay in 2018, working as the team’s linebackers coach, and was the Giants’ defensive coordinator during Martinez’s two seasons in New York.

Martinez played in four games, posting 20 tackles (14 solo). He played 91 percent of the snaps in Sunday’s Raiders’ loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars and had 11 tackles.

Just four days later, Martinez is on to the next chapter of his life, retirement.

The news of Martinez leaving the game comes after the Raiders placed tight end Darren Waller and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow on Injured Reserve. Las Vegas is currently 2-6 and questions are starting to linger on the future of quarterback Derek Carr, and even first-year head coach Josh McDaniels.

Martinez battled injuries over his last couple of years in the NFL but was productive when he was on the field.

In his seven-year career, Martinez totaled 706 tackles, 13.0 sacks, four interceptions, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

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