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Curtis Martin played in the National Football League for the New England Patriots and the New York Jets and amassed the fourth highest total of rushing yards in NFL history.
Martin began his NFL career in 1995 with the New England Patriots after being drafted in the third round. In his first season, he won the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award after rushing for 1,487 yards, and was named to the Pro Bowl. The following season saw the Patriots make the playoffs. Martin ran for a Patriots playoff franchise record 166 yards and three touchdowns in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers as the Patriots made a run for Super Bowl XXXI. The Pats would lose Super Bowl XXXI to the Green Bay Packers. After being named to his second straight Pro Bowl, Martin signed an offer with the New York Jets, a deal the Patriots did not match.
With the Jets, Martin developed the reputation of being one of the most dependable runners in the NFL. In his first seven seasons with the Jets, Martin missed just one game and was a three-time Pro Bowl selection. Martin became the oldest player to lead the league in rushing in 2004, when he won the rushing title with 1,697 yards (one more yard than runner-up Shaun Alexander, the closest margin in NFL history).
Martin began his career with ten straight 1,000 yard rushing seasons, tied for an NFL record. He missed the final three games of the 2005 season and was unable to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark. His career came to a close in 2006 when he was placed on the physically unable to perform list. On July 26, 2007, Martin officially announced his retirement from the NFL. He finished his career with 14,101 yards (4th all time) and is just one of 19 players to score at least 100 touchdowns (he finished with exactly 100).
During his days playing collegiately for the University of Pittsburgh, he played with a stellar list of teammates and coaches. Those on the coaching staff while he was there included Jon Gruden, Mike McCarthy and Marvin Lewis; all of whom would move on the become NFL coaches. Standout teammates of his included NFL stars Sean Gilbert, Billy Davis, Keith Hamilton and Anthony Dorsett Jr.