NFL player quits to trade Pokémon cards and says he earns about the same now

Callum Jones

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NFL player quits to trade Pokémon cards and says he earns about the same now

Featured Image Credit: @blake_martinez50 / @blakes.breaks / Instagram

An NFL player who quit the sport he loved to trade Pokémon cards has revealed how much he earns now.

Last November, Blake Martinez quit NFL to pursue his career in trading and selling Pokémon cards.

The 29-year-old Las Vegas Raiders linebacker announced his retirement on Instagram to focus on 'family and future passions'.

While he did not reveal the exact reason why he was quitting American football, eagle eyed fans noticed that the NFL star dropped off one of the rarest cards in the world to a trading page.

And you'll be shocked to find out how much he actually made.

Blake Martinez quit NFL for Pokemon card trading. Credit: UPI / Alamy Stock Photo
Blake Martinez quit NFL for Pokemon card trading. Credit: UPI / Alamy Stock Photo

But how did Martinez's love for Pokémon cards start?

In an interview with Insider, Martinez said that he first got involved with Pokémon cards and trading when he was six - like any kid that age, really.

He lost interest, but with the boredom of lockdowns the Covid-19 pandemic brought, Martinez got back into it.

He told Insider: "I lost track of collecting once I started playing football, but years later, when Covid-19 happened and everything started to skyrocket with trading cards, I called my mom to see what I had left.

"She told me the cards had either been thrown away or given away, and that's when I decided to get back into the hobby and start recollecting."

Two years ago, Martinez quickly realised that he could make enough money from Pokémon cards to have it as a potential full-time job.

He realised this from Twitch streamers and other streaming platforms doing these box breaks.

These box breaks include 36 packs of Pokémon cards, all of which contain 11 cards each.

Pokémon fanatics bid on these cards with the hope of obtaining some rare finds, though there is obviously no guarantee.

The former NFL player is making more money than you think from Pokémon. Credit: David Esser / Alamy Stock Photo
The former NFL player is making more money than you think from Pokémon. Credit: David Esser / Alamy Stock Photo

Martinez got involved in Whatnot, retail entertainment app where you can buy and sell a bunch of unique items.

Martinez said: "We ended up doing a box break on Whatnot, and we turned $50,000 worth of Pokémon cards into $108,000 in that first show."

Speaking on his new business venture, the former NFL player added: "I'd say I work at least 60 to 80 hours a week on the business, whether that's looking for new cards on eBay to buy and resell or reaching out to people on Instagram or friends to find new consignments."

Martinez then revealed he sold a card at Goldin Auction for a staggering $672,00 (£544,000).

This was over half of Martinez's base salary with the Las Vegas Raiders, which stood at $1.035 million, and he says overall he earns about the same as during his NFL days.

The Pokémon collector then revealed another reason why he quit football, he said: "The long-term effects of playing a high-contact sport were definitely a factor in my decision to retire.

"If I'm going to do something, I have to be all in. If you don't feel like you're all in, especially with football, you're just gonna get hurt."

Topics: News, NFL, Pokemon, Sport

Callum Jones
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