SAN FRANCISCO — Jonathan Martin, the offensive tackle who accused a Miami Dolphins teammate of bullying, was traded to the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday night and will be reunited with his college coach, Jim Harbaugh.
The Dolphins announced the move on Tuesday night on the first day of NFL free agency. San Francisco then confirmed the trade, saying only that it would send an undisclosed draft choice to Miami and that Martin still must pass a physical to complete the deal.
Martin's move cross country brings him back to the Bay Area to play again, and he has been at Stanford taking classes.
“This is great for him to get back on the field and he's in Palo Alto right now. It couldn't be much better,” his agent, Ken Zuckerman, said in a phone interview. “I just think everyone wanted this to happen. Harbaugh knows Jonathan, I think the Dolphins were compensated and Jonathan wants to get back on the field. It's a good day.”
An investigation for the NFL determined last month that Dolphins guard Richie Incognito and two other offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of Martin, another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer.
Martin left the Dolphins in late October, underwent counseling for emotional issues and alleged he was harassed by teammates. Incognito was then suspended for the final eight games.
“We feel that this move is in the best interests of all parties involved,” Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey said. “We wish Jonathan well.”
A three-month investigation determined Incognito and two teammates engaged in persistent harassment directed at Martin, another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer.
After a report on the investigation was released last month, the Dolphins fired offensive line coach Jim Turner and longtime trainer Kevin O'Neill. Incognito and guard John Jerry, who was also implicated in the report, became free agents Tuesday and aren't expected to play for the Dolphins again.
Incognito has recently received treatment in the wake of the scandal. He sent tweets in recent weeks that varied dramatically in tone, including a rant blasting Martin that quickly went viral.
Martin's departure from the Dolphins had been expected. Owner Stephen Ross said in January that he didn't expect Martin to play for the team again.
In an interview in January, Martin said frequent vulgar language around the team made him feel trapped, so he left the team. A three-month investigation determined Incognito and two teammates did indeed engage in persistent harassment directed at Martin, another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer.
The troubled relationship between Martin and Incognito drew national scrutiny and stirred a debate about bullying. Martin said he tried to be friends with Incognito despite their diverse backgrounds.
Martin, 24, was a classics major at Stanford, while Incognito, 30, was kicked off his team at Nebraska and went on to develop a reputation as one of the NFL's dirtiest players.
Martin, who protected Andrew Luck's blind side at Stanford, was a second-round draft pick by Miami in 2012. He became a starter as a rookie but struggled at times while being shuffled between right and left tackle.
Last year he was part of a line that allowed a franchise-record 58 sacks. The Dolphins began revamping their line Tuesday by agreeing to terms with Pro Bowl left tackle Braden Albert.
NFL Free Agency
Owner Jerry Jones said in a statement that it was “extremely difficult” to make a decision announced just as free agency opened Tuesday.
Ware broke Harvey Martin's 30-year-old franchise record for sacks in 2013 but got to the quarterback a career-low six times and sat out games for the first time in his nine-year career.
Ware was set to count $16 million against the salary cup. His release saves about $7.4 million and gives Dallas about $9 million to spend at the moment.
The 31-year-old Ware had 117 sacks in Dallas.
The Philadelphia Eagles and former New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins agreed on a three-year contract. It's worth $16.25 million, including $8.5 million guaranteed, according to a person familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team didn't announce terms.
Jenkins, the 14th overall pick in the 2009 draft, started 63 games in five seasons with the Saints. He fills a major need for the NFC East champions, and should bolster a pass defense that was the worst in the NFL last year.
The move was hardly a surprise given the way he struggled last year and the fact that his salary cap hit next season was for more than $18 million.