PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are adding to their inside linebacker room, signing Blake Martinez off of the Carolina Panthers practice squad, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Martinez, 29, signed the Panthers practice squad after spending last season with the Las Vegas Raiders. The former fourth-round pick for the Green Bay Packers spent four years in Wisconsin before signing a three-year, $30 million deal with the New York Giants.
Steelers are signing veteran NFL LB Blake Martinez off the Panthers’ practice squad and on to their 53-man roster, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 21, 2023
After two seasons, he was released after tearing his ACL. He signed with the Raiders practice squad in 2022. A month later, Martinez announced his retirement from the NFL to begin selling rare Pokemon cards.
However, that business has since been the subject of controversial claims, forcing Martinez to return to the NFL. He joined the Panthers practice squad to begin working his way back into the league and will now head to Pittsburgh.
The Steelers started Elandon Roberts and Mykal Walker at inside linebacker last week against the Browns. Martinez will need time to adjust to the defense, but once situated, he should be expected to be in the mix with the other two veterans on defense.
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