In a move that's been expected for months, Jets RB Curtis Martin made it offical by announcing his retirement today.
One of the true gentlemen of the game, the team plans to honor Martin in a special ceremony before the beginning of the regular season.
“Retirement is not an end but a beginning,” Martin said in a statement released by the team. “It is not giving up a position but more of a passing of the baton. And it’s definitely not a crossroad but a bridge that will further my pursuits within the NFL.”
Martin retires with 14,101 rushing yards (fourth all-time) on 3,518 carries (third all-time), and 100 touchdowns (20th all-time), including 90 rushing scores. His 17,430 yards from scrimmage, which includes 3,329 receiving yards ranks seventh all-time. Martin played 11 seasons (1995-2005) before sitting out the 2006 campaign due to injury.
He produced his lone NFL rushing title in 2004, his final full season, when he generated a career-best 1,697 yards.
Martin spent eight seasons with the Jets after being selected in the third round of the 1995 draft by the Patriots. The Jets signed Martin as a restricted free agent on March 20, 1998, and he officially became a member of the Jets on March 26 when the Patriots did not match the offer sheet.
Martin went on to record seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with the Jets, retiring as the franchise’s all-time leading rusher with 10,302 yards.
An immediate impact player in the NFL after coming out of the University of Pittsburgh in 1995, he rushed for 1,487 yards and 14 touchdowns on 368 carries. He produced the best rookie rushing performance in the NFL since Eric Dickerson of the Los Angeles Rams in 1983. Martin earned Rookie of the Year honors and was the only rookie chosen to represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl.
Martin was selected to five Pro Bowls and chosen by his Jets teammates as the team’s most valuable player on four occasions. He was also named the Dennis Byrd Award winner as the Jets Most Inspirational Player in 2001, 2002 and 2003, the Ed Block Courage Award winner as the Jets Most Courageous Player in 2001 and the Kyle Clifton Award winner (the Good Guy Award) in 2001.
*Portions of this article courtesy NY Jets.