Jonathan Martin

AFC Notes: Flacco, Incognito, Jets, Bengals

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has irritation in the joint of his throwing shoulder and was withheld from practice Wednesday to try to improve the situation, according to Ed Werder of (on Twitter). It’s not immediately clear whether Flacco will be ready to play against the Jets on Sunday, though head coach John Harbaugh believes he has a “legitimate chance” (via Marc Sessler of If Flacco can’t go, Baltimore will probably look to add a quarterback to place behind Ryan Mallett. The Ravens don’t have any QBs on their practice squad.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • With the Bills’ Richie Incognito preparing to face his former team, the Dolphins, this week, the guard revisited the 2013 Bullygate scandal in Miami that led to a three-month suspension and left him unemployed for a year and a half.  “I’m still searching for the lesson in all of it,” Incognito told Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel. League investigator Ted Wells concluded Incognito subjected then-teammate Jonathan Martin to “a pattern of harassment” that included racial slurs. “Jonathan and I were close friends. I cared about him,” Incognito said of Martin. “If anybody was there for Jonathan it was me.” Martin left the Dolphins amid the scandal in 2013 and spent parts of the next two seasons with the 49ers and Panthers. He’s now retired. Incognito has since held his own in Buffalo, which signed him to a one-year contract in February 2015. He went to his second Pro Bowl last season and subsequently re-signed with the Bills on a three-year, $15.75MM deal with $5.4MM in guarantees. “I can sleep good at night knowing what happened and what my actions were. I’m not saying I was a saint. But I sleep well at night knowing what I did,” added Incognito, who maintains that Martin and his camp concocted a false narrative.
  • The Jets benched quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in favor of Geno Smith on Wednesday, but Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News isn’t exactly convinced the move will energize the 1-5 team. Restarting the Smith era is “destined to fail,” writes Mehta, whose reasons include the 26-year-old’s poor on-field production since entering and the lack of maturity he has shown in his four NFL seasons. Mehta expects Smith to quickly flame out in his latest audition, thereby paving the way for second-year man Bryce Petty to take the reins under center.
  • Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since suffering a back injury Oct. 3, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Thanks to both his back issue and offseason ankle surgery, the 2015 Pro Bowler hasn’t yet debuted this year. That could change Sunday against the Browns, per Dehner, who notes that Eifert was merely a limited participant Wednesday and will need to partake in a full practice before rejoining the Bengals’ lineup. The Bengals have gone a disappointing 2-4 this year without Eifert, who’s coming off an outstanding season. With 52 receptions, 615 yards and 13 touchdowns, the ex-Notre Dame star logged career highs across the board last year.
  • The Patriots worked out receiver Dres Anderson and linebacker Trevor Reilly on Wednesday, tweets Doug Kyed of NESN. Anderson went undrafted from Utah last year and spent some time with the 49ers, though he didn’t see any regular-season action. Reilly suited up 29 times and made 10 tackles with the Jets over the previous two seasons.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Grossman, Bills

In the wake of the locker-room altercation that left Geno Smith with a broken jaw, the Jets are in the preliminary stages of adding another quarterback to their roster, tweets Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

It makes sense that the team would want to add another veteran to the mix while Smith is out, since Ryan Fitzpatrick would be the only signal-caller on the roster with NFL experience — rookies Bryce Petty and Jake Heaps are also on the Jets’ roster, but Heaps is likely just a camp arm and a potential practice squad candidate, while the club would probably rather not have Petty see regular-season action this year.

One potential target for the Jets may be Rex Grossman, according to Rand Getlin of the NFL Network, who tweets that the team reached out to the veteran free agent. However, Grossman is dealing with an injury he suffered during his training, and would need a few weeks to get ready, so the Jets figure to consider other options as well.

As we wait to see which direction the Jets go, here’s more from around the AFC East:

  • Jonathan Martin, the offensive tackle at the center of the Dolphins‘ bullying scandal in 2013, explained in a since-deleted tweet that he decided to retire from the NFL because “in the end, football was just a job, albeit a fun and well-paying one.” Alluding to the health concerns inherent in being an NFL player, Martin added that “being in a wheelchair at 50 isn’t worth any amount of money,” per Bill Voth of the Black and Blue Review. As Voth observes, another Martin tweet in which the former lineman compliments his Panthers and 49ers teammates, without mentioning his Dolphins teammates, serves as a reminder that Martin’s time in Miami didn’t exactly go smoothly.
  • Jim Turner, the offensive line coach who was dismissed by the Dolphins after Ted Wells published his report on the 2013 bullying scandal, filed a lawsuit against Wells and his law firm, but didn’t name the Dolphins or the NFL as defendants, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
  • Former Clemson cornerback Garry Peters is working out for the Bills, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Peters signed with the Panthers as an undrafted free agent earlier this offseason, but was cut at the end of July by Carolina.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/6/15

Here are Thursday’s minor transactions from around the NFL, with the latest moves added to the top of the page throughout the day:

  • The Broncos have re-signed nose tackle Sione Fua for another stint in Denver, per Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link). The former third-round pick, who played for Cleveland last season, last spent time with the Broncos in 2013. Denver waived punter Karl Schmitz in a corresponding move. The Broncos have also reached an injury settlement with rookie offensive tackle Connor Rains, removing him from their IR, tweets Mike Klis of 9News.
  • The Buccaneers have signed former Arena League quarterback Sammuel Lamur, the team announced today in a press release. Lamur, the brother of Bengals linebacker Emmanuel Lamur, will be moved to linebacker in Bucs camp.
  • The Titans have made a change in their secondary, signing safety Josh Aubrey and waiving safety Cody Prewitt with an injured designation, per a team release.
  • The Cowboys swapped one tight end for another this week, signing Brandon Barden and cutting Ray Hamilton, tweets Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. As Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post tweets, the club also moved linebacker Justin Anderson and offensive lineman Reshod Fortenberry to its injured reserve list.
  • Patriots tight end A.J. Derby and Eagles outside linebacker Travis Long landed on their respective teams’ injured reserve lists after going unclaimed on waivers, according to Wilson (via Twitter).
  • The Panthers have moved retired offensive tackle Jonathan Martin from the reserve/retired list to the reserve/did not report list, tweets Wilson.

NFC Notes: Bennett, Foles, Panthers

Martellus Bennett sat out the voluntary portion of the Bears’ offseason program to help force a new contract, but he now accepts that a new deal isn’t coming his way anytime soon, Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times writes.

It’s just business,” Bennett said. “I have no hard feelings against anybody. Some business deals go the way you want. I have several business deals this offseason that worked and didn’t work out. “For me, [the pursuit of new contract was] just another business deal, and then that’s just the way it is. Some deals get done, some don’t. Still got to come work and do my job.”

Here’s more from the NFC..

  • Rams GM Les Snead says that it is “definitely realistic” that the team and Nick Foles will agree to an extension before the quarterback becomes a free agent after the season, as Nick Wagoner of writes. The two sides have been discussing a new deal for more than a month now and, recently, PFR’s Connor Byrne evaluated Foles as an extension candidate.
  • Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman says Stephen Hill‘s arrest won’t affect his chances to make the team, David Newton of writes. Hill, a second-round pick by the Jets in 2012, spent last season on Carolina’s practice squad after being released by the Jets at the end of training camp.
  • The Panthers GM was surprised to learn that backup left tackle Jonathan Martin is retiring, as Newton writes. However, the team has good depth at the position with Nate Chandler, Amini Silatolu, and rookie Daryl Williams competing to back up Michael Oher.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/30/15

Today’s minor moves and signings..

  • The Panthers announced (on Twitter) that they have signed wide receiver Avius Capers and punter Matt Wile while waiving cornerback Garry Peters.
  • Tackle Jonathan Martin, who has retired from the NFL, has been placed on the Reserve/Did Not Report list (Twitter link). Martin was supposed to fill out retirement paperwork by this afternoon but apparently did not, prompting the Panthers to make that roster move, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer tweets.
  • The Bengals signed rookie free agent wide receiver Desmond Lawrence, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Cincinnati Enquirer tweets.
  • The Titans have signed nose tackle Isaako Aaitui, Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean tweets.

Jonathan Martin To Retire

Offensive lineman Jonathan Martin has decided to retire from the NFL, according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter links). Rapoport reports that Martin has a back injury that would have required surgery sidelined him for the 2015 season, so he’s opting to walk away from his playing career instead.

Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link) classifies Martin’s departure from the league as “stepping away from football, at least for now,” which suggests he could return to the game at some point. 49ers offensive lineman Anthony Davis and Buccaneers cornerback C.J. Wilson are among the other players who have announced that sort of tentative retirement this summer.

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 in March 2014. 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.

Martin was cut by the Niners and claimed by the Panthers earlier this year, and according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter), the 25-year-old was healthy during Carolina’s OTAs and June minicamp. Garafolo tweets that Martin’s back injury occurred during a recent workout, and he was told not to engage in any physical activity for at least six weeks.

If Martin doesn’t play another NFL game, he’ll finish his NFL career with 38 games (32 starts) on his résumé, for the Dolphins and 49ers.

Panthers Claim Jonathan Martin Off Waivers

A day after he was cut by the 49ers, offensive tackle Jonathan Martin will be heading to a new team rather than reaching the free agent market. According to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter), the Panthers have claimed Martin off waivers from San Francisco.

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. 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.

With Jim Harbaugh, who coached Martin at Stanford, no longer in the picture for the Niners, the team decided to move on from the young tackle as well. As he enters the final year of his rookie contract, Martin is set to earn $1.042MM for the 2015 season. The Panthers will take on that salary by claiming him, though it’s not guaranteed.

The offensive line was an area of concern for the Panthers heading into the offseason after the team shuffled a number of players in and out of the lineup last year, receiving underwhelming production from starting left tackle Byron Bell. Free agent signee Michael Oher is currently penciled in as Carolina’s left tackle for 2015, so Martin could compete for playing time on the right side, or serve as a swing tackle for the team. The Panthers will likely add a lineman or two in the draft as well.

49ers Waive Jonathan Martin

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.

49ers Links: Camp Reports, Lynch, Martin

There is no shortage of information to consume for 49ers’ fans, as training camp reports have emerged from a number of sources. Tom Pelissero’s report for USA Today highlights the improved receiving group, with a healthy Michael Crabtree and a still able Anquan Boldin leading the charge.

Here are some more notes from around the 49ers’ camp:

  • Pelissero also notes that with Anthony Davis recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, former Dolphin Jonathan Martin has been filling in at right tackle with the first team offense.
  • The team has been intent on re-signing Crabtree, but Bill Williamson’s camp report for also notes that the team also plans to re-sign right guard Mike Iupati. Iupati has been one of the best interior linemen in the league, and was thought as possibly too expensive for the team to retain.
  • One note from that report that needed to be highlighted further was general manager Trent Baalke’s assertion that the team only had four or five roster spots open this camp. Williamson highlighted that statement on his Twitter account.
  • Williamson also highlighted a number of players who had been particularly impressive thus far in a separate report. Among those players who had been performing well were former Bills’ receiver Stevie Johnson and rookie tailback Carlos Hyde.
  • Head coach Jim Harbaugh also pointed out two players who were standouts at their position in cornerbacks Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver, reports Matt Maiocco of (via Twitter). They separated themselves from the other corners on the roster.
  • Harbaugh also complimented defensive lineman Lawrence Okoye after his first padded practice, according to Maiocco (via Twitter).
  • The team has activated two rookies from the physically unable to perform and non-football injury lists in Aaron Lynch and Marcus Martin, respectively, reports Maiocco of (via Twitter).
  • Although both players are now active and will participate in walk throughs, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee points out that this does not necessarily mean they will be joining padded practices just yet (via Twitter).

NFC Notes: Cards, Lions, 49ers, Rams

The Cardinals have plenty of time to evaluate the players on their roster before they have to cut it down to 53 men, but Josh Weinfuss of has predicted which 53 will be suiting up for the team Week 1. Weinfuss writes that the first 45 were easy, but narrowing down the final eight was a difficult decision. Paul Fanaika, Brittan Golden and Jaron Brown were some of the toughest cuts on this list.

Here are some other notes from around the NFC:

  • Since the Lions released veteran cornerback Chris Houston, they are left with a thin secondary, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Rashean Mathis should be slotted to be the team’s top corner, but the 33-year old veteran is not what he once was. After Mathis, the team has last year’s second-round pick Darius Slay, who struggled mightily in 2013. Aside from those two, there is a long list of question marks rounding out the depth chart.
  • The 49ers acquired Jonathan Martin earlier this offseason, and are now trying to move him inside from tackle to guard, writes Tyson Langland of Bleacher Report. However, Langland is far from optimistic about Martin’s ability to change positions with his new team. Although he has struggled at both left and right tackle, his inexperience at the position as well as his alleged lack of arm strength and aggressiveness make Langland believe he will be a bad fit at guard.
  • With Radio City Music Hall unavailable for the 2015 NFL Draft, other cities aside from New York are getting excited at the prospect of hosting the draft either next year or down the road. With Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York (at Madison Square Garden) fighting to host the draft, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the Rams are getting into the mix as well. Rams executive vice president Kevin Demoff and President of the St. Louis Sports Committee Frank Viverito have discussed a willingness to bring the Draft to St. Louis. “We’ve had conversation about what it would take, and would be interested if the NFL winds up doing this on a long-term basis,” Demoff said. While the 2015 NFL Draft might not be a possibility, the city is open to the possibility of obtaining a future NFL Draft.
  • Eagles‘ kicker Alex Henery struggled in 2013, including a missed field goal and short kickoffs in a playoff loss to the Saints. Even still, he is not worried about his job security, writes Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer“Competition can always make you better, but it’s not like I’m worried about it,” Henery said recently. “I’m here to do my thing and do it the best I can. . . . I’m a perfectionist. That’s what drives me.”