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March 24, 2014
Harbaugh sloughs off "mini-controversy," talks Jonathan Martin

ORLANDO -- Jim Harbaugh likened the 49ers' acquisition of Jonathan Martin to Glenn Dorsey's addition a year earlier. San Francisco signed Dorsey, the former fifth overall pick in the draft, to a two-year deal after he spent five mostly quiet years with the Chiefs. Dorsey started 13 games at nose tackle last season.

The 49ers traded for Martin after the offensive lineman left the Dolphins in October amid allegations of hazing and bullying inside Miami's locker room. Harbaugh, appearing on the NFL Network, was asked if he and Martin have talked about what happened in Miami. "No, didn't ask him anything," he said. "Told him I don't want to know anything."

Harbaugh called Martin's addition "a great opportunity and a powerful motivator. I hope it works out for Jonathan Martin just the way it did for Glenn Dorsey."

The 49ers have made a habit of signing players who have failed to live up to lofty draft positions. In addition to Martin, a former second-round pick, the 49ers recently traded for one-time first-round pick Blaine Gabbert and also signed cornerback Chris Cook, a former second-round pick, to a one-year deal. Last year they added Dorsey and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, both of whom were first-round picks, and in 2011 they brought in Carlos Rogers and Donte Whitner, who also were former first rounders.

Meanwhile, Harbaugh reiterated that "there was zero chance of me leaving the San Francisco 49ers." In January, the Cleveland Browns approached the 49ers about trading their head coach. According to team owner Jed York, the Browns were quickly rebuffed.

"I love coaching my team too much," Harbaugh said. "It's a joy to coach my players. Love 'em. Love our coaches. And I love the organization I serve. That story hasn't been reported."

Harbaugh called it a "mini-controversy." "I treat mini-controversies and give them the respect they're due," he said.

-- 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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