Jonathan Martin made it clear Thursday night his focus is on the future and being part of the San Francisco 49ers.
The primary target of vicious taunts and racist insults that occurred almost daily while he was a member of the Dolphins this past season, Martin passed his physical Thursday and officially became a member of the 49ers, who acquired him in a trade with Miami on Tuesday. The Dolphins will receive a seventh-round pick in 2015 if Martin is on the 49ers’ opening-day roster this season.
“It’s a blank slate for me,” Martin said in a conference call from 49ers headquarters Thursday night. “I’m looking to revitalize my career, getting back to playing … I couldn’t be happier.”
Martin left the Dolphins last fall after accusing teammate Richie Incognito of bullying in a scandal that overshadowed the franchise’s 8-8 season. An investigation conducted by Ted Wells 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.
The offensive lineman said he’s moved on.
“I’m not worried about that,” he said. “All that’s in the past at this point.”
The trade reunites Martin with Jim Harbaugh and several other members of the 49ers’ staff who coached him at Stanford. Harbaugh was supportive of Martin throughout the scandal and vouched for him in the Wells report. Harbaugh said in the report that he thinks Martin can be a successful NFL player.
Martin said playing for Harbaugh in a big part of his excitement.
“Absolutely. I think it worked out great to once again be playing for Coach Harbaugh, once again in the Bay Area,” Martin said. “Playing for a winning franchise, a team that’s had a lot of recent success. And to hopefully be able to contribute to further success with this team.”
Articulate and thoughtful, Martin said he was thrilled to get support from his new coaches, teammates and the 49ers’ fan base. He has been in communication with new offensive line mates Anthony Davis and Joe Staley and says he feels like he is at back at home.
“It’s been a warm welcome,” said Martin, who is currently taking classes at nearby Stanford.
Martin likely will be the sixth man on the 49ers’ line and will be a swing tackle. He could potentially play guard, although he never has played at the spot.
“I have to earn my spot on this team,” Martin said. “I’m open to anything.”
Martin made it clear he is grateful to be able to resume his NFL career and said he never considered leaving the game permanently.
“That didn’t even cross my mind,” Martin said of retirement. “I’m a football player. … Hopefully, I will retire after a 10-year career.”
Martin also credited former Stanford teammates and close friends Andrew Luck, Richard Sherman and David DeCastro for standing by him and keeping him focused on the future.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.Covered AFC West for five seasons for ESPN.com
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