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NFL

The former NFL player who is making millions selling Pokemon cards

Linebacker Blake Martinez decided to hang up his cleats and retire from the NFL late last year, after he found another career path- selling Pokemon cards.

Update:
Linebacker Blake Martinez decided to hang up his cleats and retire from the NFL late last year, after he found another career path- selling Pokemon cards.
Stephen MaturenAFP

Linebacker Blake Martinez announced his retirement from the NFL last year, and the reason behind it was reportedly a switch to an unlikely alternative profession for a football player- that of selling Pokemon trading cards.

Blake Martinez in the NFL

Martinez began his career in professional football after he was chosen in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. He had a standout 2017 season with them, becoming the league’s co-leader in tackles for the year.

He moved to the New York Giants a few years later, but was released after tearing his ACL in a season-ending injury. He signed up with the Las Vegas Raiders last year, but in November, he announced his retirement from the league.

A childhood hobby revisited during the pandemic

The surprising career pivot supposedly had its seeds when he was undergoing rehabilitation for his torn ligament. During the early days of the covid-19 pandemic, he revived his childhood interest of collecting Pokemon cards. His rehab time left him some time to focus even more on this interest of his. The 29-year-old’s injury also got him thinking about his future in a sport where the state of one’s health can make or break your career.

His initial success at buying and selling Pokemon trading cards on eBay made him realize there was profit to be made in the business. Martinez also sold a rare Pokemon card for $672,000 at auction, and when the time came to think about whether he would fight to join the Las Vegas roster or keep going with his new venture, he chose the path that would keep him injury-free.

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Millions in months

Martinez set up the company Blake’s Breaks to which he committed himself full-time. The business is involved in buying and selling Pokemon cards on the collectible marketplace Whatnot. He has met with a lot of success, earning millions in just a matter of months. He currently estimates his profits to be in the $200,000 to $300,000 range per week.

The former linebacker admits that his name as an NFL player has played a role in the triumph of his business, but his passion and feel for the industry are the keys to his company’s profitability.

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