Last week the 49ers traded a conditional draft pick to the Dolphins for OT Jonathan Martin. Martin has been in the middle of some controversy with ex-teammate Richie Incognito. It was obvious that the two players would not continue to play on the same team. And after Jim Harbaugh came out in support of Martin, it only made sense that he would be a 49er.
Martin was drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft. What that means is that he has the talent or the potential to be a decent player in the NFL. Martin brings depth and competition to the 49ers. Unlike the other back-ups on the line, Martin has some starting experience. That is a valuable asset in the NFL.
Last season, the 49ers had a couple scares with Joe Staley almost getting injured. He had to leave two games early because of injuries, but returned to play the next game. The 49ers have gotten lucky with injuries in the past, as they are usually razor-thin with depth. Now that Martin is on the team, they won’t need to move Alex Boone over to tackle if Staley or Anthony Davis were to get hurt. And they also won’t have to worry about putting in a young player with no meaningful game experience.
It’s impossible to talk about Jonathan Martin without bringing up the whole circus that was going on in Miami. Some fans are afraid he might cause the same thing to happen with the 49ers. Fortunately, the 49ers have a tightly knit locker room, especially with the offensive line. When the news was first announced, a couple of the offensive linemen tweeted at or about Martin welcoming him to the team. And besides, if there is one coach who could squash something like that, it’s Jim Harbaugh.
Martin brings depth and experience to an offensive line that didn’t have much of either last season. The addition of Martin helps the 49ers’ coaches access what they are going to do with the offensive line in the future. With players like Jonathan Goodwin leaving or Mike Iupati who is set to hit free agency next year, adding Martin allows the coaches a little breathing room regarding the future of the offensive line.