Jim Harbaugh spoke glowingly of Jonathan Martin in the Wells Report, which documented the situation between Martin and Richie Incognito. Adam Schefter recently reported that the 49ers have acquired/rescued Martin.
Filed to ESPN: San Francisco is trading a conditional draft pick to Miami for OT Jonathan Martin, per league sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2014
Putting objectivity aside, this is a fantastic move … and not just because the 49ers need a swing tackle with a higher ceiling than Adam Snyder. So many imbeciles have told us how Martin is some sort of weakling because he got fed up with Incognito’s bullying. Now Martin gets a chance to prove not just that he has the desire to succeed in the NFL, but that he can handle life in a normal locker room — one that’s a lot stronger and more supportive than Miami’s.
Martin seems pretty thrilled about coming to the 49ers (and probably just as relieved to leave the Dolphins):
Opportunities are few in the NFL… Can’t wait to get to work #9erEmpire
— Jonathan A. Martin (@J_Martin71) March 12, 2014
Here’s the Harbaugh/Martin sections of the Wells Report:
Jim Harbaugh, Martin’s former head coach at Stanford and the current head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, told us that he had never doubted Martin’s tenacity, work ethic and dedication to the game, and that he had never seen Martin exhibit problems with social adjustment. Coach Harbaugh told us he believed that Martin likely could continue to have a successful career in the NFL.
Several former Stanford football players, as well as coaches Harbaugh and Shaw, concurred that Martin was a talented athlete and a great teammate, with an admirable work ethic. Both Coach Harbaugh and Coach Shaw emphasized that Martin was a well-adjusted and popular player while at Stanford.
Coach Harbaugh emphasized that he never doubted Martin’s physical or mental toughness, and he believes that Martin can continue to have a successful career in the NFL. Coach Harbaugh also said that the atmosphere in the Stanford locker room, in his view, was not materially different from that of the San Francisco 49ers’ locker room.
One also has to wonder just how much animosity actually exists between Harbaugh and Trent Baalke these days. Getting a former second round pick at a bargain price probably makes Baalke happy. But if he’s really that upset with Harbaugh, would it make sense for him to trade for the guy Harbaugh vouched for?
What's so fantastic with trading for a player, who was AWFULL? And paying him about million above league minimum, while his value is probably below replacement value?
I love this kind of move! get a good player out of a bad situation and give him the support he needs to play up to his talent level. you can never have enough good offensive linemen!
I'm wondering how the niners will utilize Martin. Seeing how Jonathan Goodwin is most likely departing via free agency, will the niners shuffle the line around having one of the guards or Daniel Kilgore move to center? Martin seems too talented to simply be a jumbo package extra lineman. Anyway, happy the guy might have a shot at resuming his career closer to home and around a coach that knows him.
Guy clearly has talent. He's succeeded with harbaugh before. 49ers have a locker room with leaders and a forward thinking organization that understands issues like mental health as well as any org. It's supposedly a 7th round pick contingent on him making the roster. His cap hit in a cut situation is under 1 million. Very little risk, potential reward. If he can't succeed here, he's probably done as an NFL player.