Former Packers LB might be better selling Pokemon cards than playing football

Former Green Bay Packers linebacker Blake Martinez retired from the NFL last year, and he is raking in money selling Pokemon cards.

Why play in the NFL, when you can make money selling Pokemon cards. That is what former Green Bay Packers linebacker Blake Martinez is doing.

After announcing his retirement from the NFL midway through this past season when he was playing for the Las Vegas Raiders, he focused on his own company called Blake’s Breaks. The company sells Pokemon cards on the social marketplace platform, Whatnot. Since starting up Blake’s Breaks in July 2022, Martinez has made $5 million off selling Pokemon cards.

“I think there’s more to my success than [my name],” Martinez told CNBC Make It. “I used to be like the quarterback of the defense, I was calling plays. When I started this business, it felt like running a team again.”

Blake Martinez selling Pokemon cards after NFL retirement

In fact, one card that Martinez sold last October went for $672,000. That specific card was the Illustrator Pikachu, also known as “The Swirlustrator.”

Martinez began his career with the Packers as a fourth-round pick out of Stanford in 2016. He became the NFL’s tackles leader in 2017 with 144 combined tackles (96 solo, 48 assisted). In his four years with the team, Martinez recorded 512 combined tackles (331 solo, 181 assisted), 29 tackles for loss, 17 passes defended, 10 sacks, three interceptions, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

After the 2019 season, Martinez signed a three-year, $30.75 million contract with the New York Giants. He logged a full season with the Giants in 2020, recording 151 total tackles (86 solo, 65 assisted), five passes defended, three sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and one interception. In his second year, Martinez played just three games before tearing his ACL. Ahead of the 2022 season, Martinez and the Giants mutually agreed to part ways.

Martinez would join the Raiders on a one-year deal, reuniting with former Giants defensive coordinator and Packers linebacker coach Patrick Graham. But after playing in four games, Martinez announced his retirement from the NFL, and focused on his Blake’s Breaks company.

If you buy Pokemon cards or any trading cards, be sure to take care of them. They could be worth thousands of dollars in the future.

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