The Jonathan Martin era with the Miami Dolphins is over.
The Fins traded Martin to the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday for a conditional draft pick, where he will be reunited with his Stanford University head coach, Jim Harbaugh, who now coaches the 49ers.
During the bullying scandal that engulfed the Dolphins organization last season, Harbaugh publicly supported Martin and called him a personal friend.
Big news.... Beyond Blessed— Jonathan A. Martin (@J_Martin71) March 12, 2014
Opportunities are few in the NFL... Can't wait to get to work #9erEmpire— Jonathan A. Martin (@J_Martin71) March 12, 2014
New Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey says it's a move that helps everyone involved.
"We feel that this move is in the best interests of all parties involved," Hickey said. "We wish Jonathan well."
The trade also helps the Dolphins' salary cap situation. Martin's departure means $345,066 in additional cap space money, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Back in November, Harbaugh publicly professed his support of Martin as everything collapsed around the offensive tackle.
"As far as that situation, there's only one thing I can intelligently comment on, and that's knowing Jonathan Martin," Harbaugh said at the time. "I know him to be a fine person and his family... [He] epitomizes the student-athlete model and a personal friend. I support Jonathan."
The conditional draft pick Miami receives will be a seventh-rounder for the 2015 draft and is contingent on Martin's being on the 49ers roster opening day. So if he should get cut or traded by San Fran before that, the Fins get nothing.
But that really wasn't the purpose of the move. Hickey did the right thing in giving both Martin and the Dolphins a fresh start here.
The Dolphins get to move on from what has been the ugliest chapter in a franchise historically filled with ugly chapters. In recent decades, anyway.
And Martin not only gets to go play with his former college coach and friend but also goes from a team that can't stop finishing 7-9 and can't stop missing the playoffs year after year after year to a Super Bowl contender.
Looks like, in the end, Jonathan Martin wins.
Can already tell the 49ers have a great fan base #NinerNation— Jonathan A. Martin (@J_Martin71) March 12, 2014
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