Around this time last year, it appeared that Jonathan Martin was ready for a new outlook on football.
But after a little more than a year in San Francisco, the 49ers released him Thursday.
The former second-round pick, who famously withstood a prolonged series of mental and verbal abuse from teammates like Richie Incognito and John Jerry in Miami, started nine games for Jim Harbaugh in 2014. He was acquired for a conditional pick.
Life hasn’t been easy for the Stanford graduate, who temporarily walked away from the game amid an abuse scandal that rocked the Dolphins‘ franchise and sent two of its main culprits to other clubs.
Now, he’ll look to start over once again.
At the least, Martin’s play should earn him a look in training camp this summer. There are plenty of teams desperate for offensive line depth and a scattershot market of backup offensive linemen to choose from.
In the right system, there’s no doubt that Martin can find what he’s looking for and grow into the player he was projected to be. After climbing a major hurdle during the first phase of his NFL career, he’ll just need to do it once again, though the hardest is behind him.