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Dinner with Curtis


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Former RB Martin meets with Falcons owner

Purchasing, not playing, for a team possible reason for meeting


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 09/07/07

On Wednesday night in a secluded booth at the Palm in Buckhead, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank was spotted having dinner with former New York Jets player Curtis Martin.

Since the NFL's fourth all-time leading rusher announced his retirement this summer, it's highly unlikely that Martin, 34, who has a bum right knee, will be sporting a Falcons jersey anytime soon.

However, in a live interview on "The Early Show" on CBS in July, Martin said: "I'm done playing football in the NFL but I'm not done in the NFL."

Then Martin disclosed that he was interested in purchasing an NFL team.

"I can't be specific right now because I don't want to jeopardize the deal," Martin said at the time.

So did Wednesday night's lobster and steak outing at the Palm have a business vibe to it?

"It was clearly business," Palm general manager Willy Cellucci told the AJC's Peach Buzz when we called Thursday. "It wasn't two old buddies getting together. It appeared that Curtis was coming into town to see Arthur. I showed Curtis to Arthur's table and heard Arthur ask Curtis, "Did you find the place OK?"

Exactly what the casually dressed pair discussed was still the subject of much speculation Thursday. Said Cellucci: "Believe me, we tried like hell to figure out why they were together. It's still a mystery."

When we rang the Falcons front office Thursday, Falcons vice president of football communications Reggie Roberts told us he was unaware of the Blank/Martin meeting.

"I don't know anything about it," Roberts said. He said he was also unaware of Martin's announced plans to enter into NFL team ownership.

After speaking with Blank on Wednesday night, Cellucci was certain of one thing, however

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Good for curtis. He would be a good owner, no doubt he knows how to put together a good team/staff.

ya know, for having played for parcells, BB, and the one and only Herm...he has seen the highs and the lows to an extreme.

Agreed, hes got his head on straight and definatly has produced a body of work that would get league-wide respect.

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