Veteran NFL Linebacker Announces Retirement at Age 28
A veteran NFL linebacker is calling it a career. Blake Martinez of the Las Vegas Raiders went to Instagram to announce his retirement from the league. The team place him on the reserve/retired list on Thursday afternoon, and this comes a few days after he recorded 11 tackles for the Raiders in a loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“I’m announcing my retirement from the game of football,” Martinez wrote on Instagram. “I had an amazing journey with some incredible franchises, and made lifelong friendships. 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!”
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Blake Martinez (@blake_martinez50)
Martinez, 28, was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He had a strong rookie season, registering 69 tackles, one sack and one interception in 13 games. In 2017, Martinez recorded 144 tackles which led the NFL, and he also added a career-high eight passes defended. Martinez would play with the Packers for another two seasons before signing a three-year contract with the New York Giants. In 2020, the Stanford alum notched 140 tackles in 16 games but missed nearly the entire 2021 season due to a torn ACL.
Martinez was cut from the Giants before the start of the 2022 season and signed with the practice squad of the Raiders on Oct. 4. He was promoted to the active roster three days later and played in four games with two starts. Martinez made his biggest impact with the Packers, as he became one of the team’s most reliable players.
“Blake is definitely a leader on this defense,” defensive tackle Kenny Clark said to Packers.com in April 2019. “He works hard, people see it, and that’s why they give him the role that he has as far as the communication and everything he does. Because everybody trusts him and he comes in early and works as hard as he can, we all trust him to do all that stuff.” Martinez played at Stanford from 2012-2015 and was selected to the All-Pac-12 First Team in his final season (2015) after posting 141 tackles, 1.5 sacks and six passes defended.