It was clear that Jonathan Martin needed a change of scenery after the 2013 season he had with the Miami Dolphins. Martin will get his wish as he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday night and will be back with his college coach Jim Harbaugh. The Dolphins will get a conditional seventh-round pick in 2015 if Martin makes the 49ers’ 53-man roster to open the 2014 season. Martin still must pass a physical as well for the deal to become official.
Martin needed out of Miami and this move puts him into a position where he can succeed again with Harbaugh around him. He will likely feel safer in the locker room in San Francisco and that would have a lot to do with Harbaugh, who was his coach at Stanford. Martin is still just 24 years old and proved he can be a NFL left tackle with the Dolphins. He may not get the same opportunity to start right away but it is a move that provides depth for the 49ers moving forward.
This move has ratifications from both sides. The Dolphins weren’t going to keep Martin around anyway and at least get a draft pick out of the deal while the 49ers get a young player in Martin who needs to rebuild his confidence and probably can do that around Harbaugh. San Francisco just made themselves an even better team which can make another run at the Seattle Seahawks in 2014. The NFC West improves even more with this move as the power appears to be moving westward in the NFC.
Miami in the process will try to get themselves back into position to make a playoff push in the AFC. There is enough talent with the Dolphins to challenge for second place in the AFC North and could make life difficult on the New England Patriots before all is said and done. The first day of free agency saw a ton of moves get made. The Martin trade may not have been the biggest move of the day but it is one that will be talked about just as much as the others. Miami is likely happy, San Francisco is happy and Martin may be the happiest one of them all to move cross country.