NFL offensive tackle Jonathan Martin ’08 was traded to the San Francisco 49ers March 11 after walking out on the Miami Dolphins last fall, claiming he was being bullied by teammates.
Martin will be returning to his home state, California, and Jim Harbaugh, his coach at Stanford, who coaches the 49ers.
“I’m really happy he will get a chance to put everything behind him and start anew with a great team like the 49ers,” Wolverine linebacker Desmond Butler ’15 said. “It’s also a great thing he gets to play for coach Harbaugh, who we played for at Stanford. I wish him all the best.”
Martin missed the Dolphins’ final 11 games last season after coming home to California, where he spent time with family and friends.
Richie Incognito, another former offensive lineman and the teammate the former Wolverine cited as his main persecutor, was suspended by Dolphins as a result of Martin’s departure.
Without Martin and Incognito, the Dolphins ranked 27th and 30th out of the 32 NFL teams in run and pass blocking, respectively, according to footballoutsiders.com.
ESPN reports that Martin was traded for a conditional draft pick, most likely in the seventh round, the last of the NFL draft.
Martin was selected in the second round (42nd pick) of the draft in 2012.
“I think it will be good to get back with a situation he is familiar with,” Wolverine cornerback Chase Aldridge ’15 said.
“He has previously lived in the Northern California area and I’m sure he has a great relationship with Harbaugh. Also, with a veteran locker room he only has to focus on his job.”
Aldridge noted that Martin “is not guaranteed a spot on the team, but this looks like the best situation as he knows what to expect in San Francisco.”
Martin is expected to backup both of the tackle spots and occasionally play in offensive sets where the team lines up with an extra offensive lineman, ESPN reported.
Harbaugh is known to run these types of formations more than most coaches.