The Miami Dolphins have traded disgruntled offensive lineman Jonathan Martin to the San Francisco 49ers, which is coached by his former Stanford University coach Jim Harbaugh.
The 49ers gave the Dolphins a conditional draft pick in exchange for Martin, a 2012 second-round pick who started 23 straight games for the Dolphins before leaving the team in October with complaints that his teammates created a hostile working environment.
“We feel that this move is in the best interests of all parties involved,” said Miami Dolphins General Manager Dennis Hickey. “We wish Jonathan well.”
Martin's complaint against the Dolphins created a national scandal, and led to an NFL investigation into the team's locker room culture. Richie Incognito, Mike Pouncey and John Jerry were named as the three players who created a hostile working environment for Martin.
"Big news," Martin tweeted minutes after being informed of the trade. "Beyond blessed.....Opportunities are few in the NFL. Can't wait to get to work."
The trade, which came on the first day of business for the 2014 league year, frees up $345,066 in additional cap space for the Dolphins because Martin has a cap number of $1,304,800, which features $959,734 in dead money based on his prorated signing bonus.
The conditional seventh-round pick in 2015 is contingent on Martin being on the 49ers opening week roster. But the pick isn't the significant aspect. The Dolphins needed to move Martin's contract to avoid a possible lawsuit for jeopardizing his future earnings.
According to a league sources, Martin didn't believe he could return to the Dolphins locker room. And there's merit to his theory considering the scrutiny his allegations placed the Dolphins players and coaches under at the mid-season point of Miami's 8-8 season.
Incognito and Jerry are both free agents, and neither are expected to return to the Dolphins. Pouncey, who was selected as a Pro Bowler this season, is the only offensive lineman involved with the bullying saga still on the Dolphins' roster.