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Jim Harbaugh expressed the opinion in the Ted Wells report that offensive lineman Jonathan Martin could have a successful career in the NFL.
Martin, who played college ball at Stanford under Harbaugh, will get that opportunity with the 49ers under Harbaugh. The 49ers and Miami Dolphins announced that Martin was traded to the 49ers on Tuesday for a conditional draft pick. The 49ers will give up a seventh-round draft pick in 2015 if Martin makes the 49ers' 53-man roster to open the season, ESPN reported.
Martin, 24, left the Dolphins midway through his second NFL season amid allegations of bullying from teammate Richie Incognito. In the Wells report, Harbaugh is quoted as saying he never doubted Martin’s “tenacity, work ethic and dedication to the game.”
“Coach Harbaugh emphasized that he never doubted Martin’s physical or mental toughness, and he believes that Martin can continue to have a successful career in the NFL,” according to the report. “Coach Harbaugh also said that the atmosphere in the Stanford locker room, in his view, was not materially different from that of the San Francisco 49ers’ locker room.”
In public comments in November, Harbaugh said, “I know (Martin) to be a fine person, and his family. A great contributor as a student and as an athlete at Stanford. Epitomized the student-athlete model. And (he’s) a personal friend. So I support Jonathan."
Martin tweeted the following Tuesday evening:
Opportunities are few in the NFL... Can't wait to get to work #9erEmpire— Jonathan A. Martin (@J_Martin71) March 12, 2014
Martin is expected to compete for a roster spot as a backup tackle on both sides of the 49ers’ offensive line. Starting right guard Alex Boone has held that role the past two seasons as the primary backup to left tackle Joe Staley and right tackle Anthony Davis.
Martin has two years remaining on his original contract after being a 2012 second-round pick of the Dolphins. He is scheduled to earn $824,933 in 2014 and $1.042 million in 2015. He started all 16 games as rookie and all seven games in which he appeared in 2013 before leaving the team.