San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh recently defended Jonathan Martin when he was asked about his former tackle at Stanford University. The Miami Dolphins certainly won’t have any intentions of keeping him. Naturally there have been rumors of Martin joining the 49ers because of his ties to Harbaugh. Is Jonathan Martin a fit for the 49ers?
Looking at things from an on the field perspective, he is not a fit. The bottom line is that he is not that good of a player. Things did not pan out well for Martin even before the whole bullying fiasco. He was an underachiever at the left tackle position. As a result, the Dolphins had to bring in Bryant McKinnie.
The 49ers are pretty well set at both tackle positions with Anthony Davis and Joe Staley. Luke Marquardt and Carter Bykowski are the two primary backups at the tackle position on the roster right now. There are also some draft prospects that can come in and play at a lower cost than Martin as well. Antonio Richardson from Tennessee, Morgan Moses from Virginia and Jack Mewhort from Ohio State are all options in the mid rounds.
Now let’s look at things from a locker room perspective. How many times have we heard Harbaugh refer to the locker room as a bunker? How many times has he referred to specific players as “trusted agents?” Jonathan Martin is not a fit for the 49ers locker room. Honestly, I don’t think there are many locker rooms that would accept Martin. The things that happened to him were unacceptable without a doubt. The problem is that this is not the kind of off field distraction that would be welcome in the 49ers locker room.
Some may bring up the Aldon Smith ordeal and frankly, I think that the 49ers handled the situation well and did so because he was already on the roster. In other words, I don’t think the 49ers would bring in a player with the potential to be a disruption to the locker room chemistry.
There are definitely ties between Jonathan Martin and Jim Harbaugh but I think it ends there. I would be very surprised if the 49ers brought in Martin especially with the depth at the tackle position in the draft. There really is no level where such a move makes sense to me. The distractions and media circus that would surround Martin joining the team is simply not worth the minimal contribution. For that reason, Martin is not a fit for the 49ers, nor any team for that matter.