San Francisco 49ers acquire offensive lineman Jonathan Martin from Miami Dolphins

March 12, 2014

The San Francisco 49ers have agreed to a trade with the Miami Dolphins for offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, the whistleblower who made national headlines last season for claiming that he was bullied by a teammate.  In exchange, the Dolphins will receive a draft choice, reported by other outlets to be a conditional 7th round pick.

The trade reunites the 24-year-old Martin with his former college coach, Jim Harbaugh, and also provides the 49ers with offensive line depth.

Martin (6-5, 312) was originally selected in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. He has started all 23 games he has appeared in - 13 games at right tackle and 10 at left tackle.

Martin played collegiately at Stanford for Harbaugh where he appeared in 39 games (37 starts). As a junior, Martin earned First-Team All-America honors and was a finalist for the 2011 Lombardi Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding lineman.

Martin's claims of bullying and inappropriate workplace behavior recently were corroborated by an independent investigation assigned to the matter.  Despite the veracity of his story, it was no guarantee that Martin would be welcomed back in the Miami locker room with open arms.

So in that sense, the trade eliminates a potential distraction for the Dolphins, who obviously did not want to repeat the controversy that had been hovering over the team all last season.

“We feel that this move is in the best interests of all parties involved,” said Miami Dolphins General Manager Dennis Hickey. “We wish Jonathan well.”

Still, the trade while good for Martin, is also a bit disappointing because the Dolphins took the easy way out.

After all the grand proclamations from Miami's head coach and its management about the organization's transparency and ethics, the franchise in the end decided it was best to just dismiss the whistleblower, rather than keep him and risk having their flaws exposed again.

As to whether the Dolphins ultimately have changed their work culture since the incident, only time will tell.

Indeed, the Dolphins made sure of that by trading away the one guy who actually would tell in Jonathan Martin.

By Staff of and news services

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