New York — Curtis Martin hopes to run straight from the backfield to the front office.

New York — Curtis Martin hopes to run straight from the backfield to the front office.

After retiring from the Jets yesterday as the No. 4 rusher in league history, the 34-year-old Martin revealed he has his sights set on becoming an NFL owner.

"Ever since you have seen me as a player, I've been looking at myself as an owner," Martin said at a small, 45-minute news conference at the team's Manhattan offices. "Most people see me as a low-profile player, and I've always seen myself as a high-profile owner."

Why is he retiring?

Martin, a physical running back who never shied from big hits, acknowledged in January that he had probably played his last game because of a bone-on-bone right knee injury suffered during the 2005 season.

Martin tore cartilage in his right knee in Week 2 against Miami in 2005, and aggravated the injury two games later against Baltimore. He played through the pain — typical of the toughness he displayed throughout his career — but ended his season after the Jets' 12th game. The Jets put him on injured reserve last November, ending Martin's season — and ultimately, his career.

One of the best

Martin was one of the league's bright spots for most of his 11 active seasons. He finished with 14,101 yards rushing, ranking behind only Emmitt Smith (18,355), Walter Payton (16,726) and Barry Sanders (15,269). His 3,518 carries are third on the NFL's career list, and his 90 rushing touchdowns rank him tied for 12th with Eric Dickerson. Martin was also a versatile offensive weapon, catching 484 passes for 3,329 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Thanks, Curtis

The Jets will honor the five-time Pro Bowl selection before the beginning of the regular season. There is also growing sentiment that the team should retire Martin's No. 28 jersey.

"I think that would be great," Martin said with a big smile. "If that were to happen, I would like that."

Parting words

"I don't have any regrets," Martin said. "I feel like I'm leaving this game exactly how I would want to. I know that I'm stubborn when it comes to football and I know that it would have to take something like this — and gratefully it's not too bad to where it's going to hinder the rest of my life where I'd need a wheelchair or cane."