Former New York Giants linebacker Blake Martinez took to Instagram on Thursday to announce his retirement from the NFL.
Martinez was originally drafted out of Stanford by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He immediately made an impact for the Packers, starting nine games as a rookie and never having fewer than 140 total tackles when playing a full season.
The Giants signed Martinez away from the Packers to a three-year, $30 million contract in 2020 as a part of their defensive overhaul after hiring Patrick Graham. Martinez immediately became the Giants’ defensive captain and was a vital piece in an improved defense. He lead the Giants in tackles in 2020 with 151, to go with 3.0 sacks, 9 tackles for a loss, and 5 passes defensed.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to build on that success and missed most of the 2021 season after suffering a torn ACL in Week 3.
The Giants surprisingly released Martinez back on Sept. 1 in what turned out to be a mutual parting of the ways. The decision to move on was reportedly amicable on both sides, as the Giants’ defense had changed and Martinez’s role shrank.
He rejoined former Giants’ defensive coordinator Patrick Graham with the Las Vegas Raiders in October of this year before suddenly announcing his retirement today.
While Martinez wasn’t a Giant for long, he was always a class act and a leader both in the locker room and on the field. We wish him well in whatever comes next for him.