SAN FRANCISCO — Jonathan Martin is officially a member of the San Francisco 49ers, and he’s thrilled for a fresh start to keep playing football.
Martin passed his physical Thursday to complete a trade that sent the offensive tackle from the Miami Dolphins to the Niners to be reunited with his college coach, Jim Harbaugh. The teams first announced the move Tuesday night for Martin, who left the Dolphins last fall after accusing teammate Richie Incognito of bullying in a scandal that overshadowed the franchise’s 8-8 season.
“It’s a blank slate for me. I’m looking forward to revitalizing my career, getting back to playing,” Martin said. “I want to do whatever I can to contribute to this offensive line. It’s a great O-line already.”
An investigation for the NFL determined last month that Incognito and two other offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of Martin, another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer. After Martin’s departure from the Dolphins in late October, he underwent counseling for emotional issues. Incognito was suspended for the final eight games.
“Any time we acquire a player we give him a clean slate, along with every opportunity to demonstrate his value to our organization, both on the field and in the community,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. “It will be no different in Jonathan’s case. As a former Stanford student-athlete, we are very familiar with Jonathan and look forward to working with him.”
Harbaugh has supported Martin all along, from his early college days at Stanford to the offensive lineman’s departure from the Dolphins and even in a formal NFL investigation into the situation in Miami. Harbaugh spoke publicly about Martin in November and referred to him as a “personal friend.”
Now, these two will begin the process of getting Martin up to speed in a hurry this offseason — and Harbaugh has said he’s not concerned because it should be a smooth transition. Martin already knows many of the 49ers coaches who came from Stanford when Harbaugh was hired in January 2011. Harbaugh has credited Martin for being a “very intelligent football player” who has familiarity with the Niners’ system.