The Carolina Panthers signed linebacker Blake Martinez to a contract. Martinez has been retired since November 2022. Carolina gets significant linebacker help as the position has dealt with injuries.
The Carolina Panthers linebacker was drafted in 2016.
The Green Bay Packers drafted Blake Martinez in the 4th round, 131st overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. Green Bay signed Martinez to a 4-year, $2.72 million rookie contract with a $383,393 signing bonus. Martinez appeared in 13 games and started in nine during his rookie season. He suffered an MCL sprain in Week 11 and missed the next three games. He finished the season with 69 tackles, four tackles for loss, one sack, one quarterback hit, one interception, and four pass deflections.
Martinez won the starting job in his second season, recording 144 tackles, ten tackles for loss, one sack, two quarterback hits, one interception, eight pass deflections, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. Martinez tied with Preston Brown and Joe Schobert for the most tackles in the NFL.
Martinez had 144 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, five sacks, six quarterback hits, and three pass deflections in his third season. He was second in most tackles behind Shaquille Leonard.
Martinez had 155 tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks, three quarterback hits, one interception, two pass deflections, and one forced fumble in his fourth season. He was second in most tackles behind Bobby Wagner.
Martinez found a new team in 2020.
The New York Giants and Martinez agreed to a 3-year, $30 million contract on March 26, 2020. Martinez had 151 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks, six quarterback hits, one interception, five pass deflections, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery in his first season with New York. Martinez was third in tackles behind Zach Cunningham and Jaylon Smith.
His second season with New York was cut short.
Martinez suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 3. He ended up tearing his ACL. New York placed him on the injured reserve.
New York released Martinez on September 1, 2022.
Martinez had a brief stint with Las Vegas in 2022.
Martinez signed to the Raiders’ practice squad on October 4 and signed him to the active roster. Martinez appeared in four games, recording 20 tackles.
Martinez retired on November 10 because he made millions selling Pokemon cards. He said that he made more than $5 million after seven months.
What does Martinez bring to Carolina?
Martinez brings experience to Carolina. He has experience as a starting linebacker and is a tackling machine.
Carolina is already without Shaq Thompson for the rest of the season due to injury. The other notable linebackers on the roster include Frankie Luvu, Deion Jones, and Kamu Grugier-Hill.
Expect Martinez to be the starter moving forward.
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