Raiders linebacker Blake Martinez retires from football

Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Blake Martinez, who joined the team a little more than a month ago, declared his retirement via social media Thursday.

Martinez, 28, declared his decision four days subsequent to leading the Raiders with 11 tackles in Sunday’s misfortune to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“I had an amazing journey with some incredible franchises, and made lifelong friendships,” Martinez wrote on Instagram. “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!”

Martinez missed practice on Wednesday for what the Raiders depicted as personal reasons. The team tweeted congrats to Martinez, adding, “Good luck on your new journey.”

Martinez’s retirement comes directly following the Raiders (2-6) placing a pair of Pro Bowl pass catchers – – tight end Darren Waller and slot receiver Hunter Renfrow – – on injured reserve, and leaves Las Vegas short-handed at linebacker heading into Sunday’s home game against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Raiders placed linebacker Divine Deablo (forearm) on IR on Monday, and Pro Bowler Denzel Perryman (hip, rib) and Darien Butler (hip) were limited in practice Thursday. Jayon Brown has not played since Week 4 in light of a hamstring issue. The Raiders likewise deferred strong security Johnathan Abram, a first-round pick in 2019, on Tuesday.

On Thursday, the team elevated linebacker Curtis Bolton to the active roster from the practice squad and signed linebacker Reggie Ragland to the practice squad.

Martinez was a fourth-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2016 and enjoyed the past two seasons with the New York Giants before signing with the Raiders on Oct. 4. He began two of four games for Las Vegas and had 20 tackles, including 14 solo. In 84 career games, 78 starts, he had 13 career sacks and four interceptions.

Martinez, who had a base salary of $1.035 million, likewise is an eager Pokémon card collector and, as per a New York Post report last week, he sold an uncommon Illustrator Pikachu card known as “The Swirlustrator” from 1998 for $672,000, which would be the second-most costly Pokémon card ever sold. The card had supposedly been valued for as much as $1.5 million a few weeks earlier.