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News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

March 11, 2014
49ers trade for ex-Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin


It wasn't hard to detect the 49ers' interest in offensive tackle Jonathan Martin when Jim Harbaugh, in the report that documented Martin's travails with the Dolphins, insisted his former player could resume a productive NFL career. Today the 49ers followed through with that hint, trading a seventh-round draft pick to Miami for Martin, who was a second-round pick in 2012.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the 49ers traded a conditional seventh-round pick in 2015, which is dependent on Martin being on the 53-man roster in Week 1.

Martin, 24, doesn't have to go far to join his new team. The Studio City, Calif. native and former Stanford lineman, who was recruited by Harbaugh, has been taking classes at Stanford. Martin has played both right and left tackle, and he becomes a top candidate to become the so-called "swing tackle" who can back up either Anthony Davis at right tackle or Joe Staley on the left side. Last year that job fell to guard Alex Boone with Adam Snyder also filling in at times at tackle.

Shortly after the trade occurred, Martin tweeted: "Opportunities are few in the NFL... Can't wait to get to work #9erEmpire." That was followed by two Tweets from Davis: "I'm sure Jonathan will be ready to go. He will help our team. #49ers." "Welcome to the Team Bro."

Martin left the Dolphins in October amid reports of bullying in the Miami locker room. The Ted Wells report, which detailed "a pattern of harassment" among Dolphins offensive linemen, included interviews with Harbaugh and current Stanford head coach David Shaw. Harbaugh said Martin not only fit in well inside the Stanford locker room but that he didn't think the 49ers' locker room was all that different than Stanford's.

"(Harbaugh), 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," the independent report said. "Coach Harbaugh told us he believed that Martin likely could continue to have a successful career in the NFL."

"Although initially quiet, he became a vocal leader on the team by his final year," the report continued. "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."

When allegations of bullying inside the Dolphins locker room first broke in November, Harbaugh called Martin a "personal friend."

"As far as that situation, there's only one thing I can intelligently comment on and that's knowing Jonathan Martin," Harbaugh said on Nov. 6. "I know him to be a fine person and his family. (He was a) great contributor as a student and an athlete at Stanford, epitomizes the student-athlete model and a personal friend. I support Jonathan."

Martin has two years remaining on his original contract at base salaries of $825,000 and $1.04 million. He is expected to join teammates when the 49ers' offseason conditioning program begins April 21.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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