Not long ago, Blake Martinez was a highly coveted linebacker in the NFL, landing a $30 million free-agent deal with the Giants in 2020. Three years later, the former Packers standout is done with football entirely. Why? To sell rare Pokémon cards.
Yes, that's right. After abruptly retiring last November, Martinez went all in on Blakes Breaks, his own collectables company that profits in mining top-tier cards and merchandise from the popular Japanese franchise, as The Athletic reported. But the ex-Giants defender isn't the only former NFL player who opted for a unique profession after his playing days.
Here are five other retired NFL players with interesting new jobs:
Myron Rolle, neurosurgeon
The Florida State product, whose cousins include fellow former defensive backs Antrel and Samari Rolle, played two seasons with the Titans from 2010-2011 after entering as a sixth-round draft pick. By 2013, he'd declared himself done with football to fulfill aspirations of a medical career. Now, the former safety works as a chief neurosurgery resident at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, with a specialty interest in pediatric neurosurgery.
Nnamdi Asomugha, actor
For much of his eight-year run with the Raiders (2003-2010), the former cornerback was considered one of the top cover men in the NFL, parlaying annual accolades into a $60M deal with the Eagles in 2011. But a few throwaway TV gigs helped Asomugha discover a newfound passion and talent for the stage and screen, and he's been a devoted actor since hanging up the cleats at the end of 2013. His credits include Broadway's "A Soldier's Play," Amazon's "Sylvie's Love" and Netflix's "The Good Nurse."
Brian Orakpo, cupcake decorator
Drafted No. 13 overall by Washington in 2009, the imposing pass rusher made four Pro Bowls over a 10-year career that included a productive stint with the Titans. In 2018, Orakpo reunited with former Titans teammate Michael Griffin, an ex-All-Pro safety, to open his own Gigi's Cupcakes franchise in Bee Cave, Texas. Not only that, but both Orakpo and Griffin have been vocal and hands-on operators, partaking in the baking and designing of their specialty desserts.
Frank Gore, pro boxer
The longtime 49ers running back will always be remembered for his longevity, racking up 16,000 yards (third-most in NFL history) over 16 seasons. But the five-time Pro Bowler wasn't done with sports when he stopped carrying the ball after his age-37 campaign. Gore took up heavyweight boxing in 2021, signed a one-day contract to retire a 49er, then made his pro debut in the ring in 2022. He's not the only ex-NFL star to take up the sport, but he's off to a good start with a 2-0 pro record.
Connor Barwin, pro basketball owner
The former Texans and Eagles pass rusher enjoyed a solid 10-year NFL career before returning to Philadelphia in 2019 as a member of the front office. Barwin still holds his title there, but just recently he also became a co-owner of Pallacanestro Trieste, an Italian pro basketball team that famously deployed Michael Jordan during a 1985 exhibition in which the NBA legend shattered the backboard. He's the first American to own such a team, per The Athletic, since Kobe Bryant in the 1990s.