The 49ers have parted ways with offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, releasing him from their roster today, according to a team release. Since Martin only has three seasons of NFL experience, he’ll have to pass through waivers before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Martin, who was at the center of the Dolphins’ bullying scandal in 2013, reportedly receiving verbal abuse from Richie Incognito and others, was sent to the 49ers in a trade last March — San Francisco made sense as a destination for Martin at the time, given the Stanford connection with then-coach Jim Harbaugh. The Dolphins acquired the 49ers’ seventh-round pick in that deal, then later sent it to Minnesota as part of this month’s Mike Wallace trade.
Although he started nine games last season at right tackle for San Francisco, Martin wasn’t particularly effective, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). PFF graded Martin as a below-average run blocker and pass blocker, placing him 60th out of 84 qualified offensive tackles.
Still, at age 25, and with 32 career starts under his belt, Martin could be a decent swing tackle for a team in need of depth at the position. Of course, Buffalo is one team that could use a tackle, and the Bills now employ former Niners offensive coordinator Greg Roman, but that’s perhaps the least likely landing spot for Martin, given the presence of the recently-signed Incognito.
Martin had been set to count for about $1.042MM on the Niners’ cap this year, but the team will wipe his entire salary from the books.