The big news to close out Wednesday night was the San Francisco 49ers decision to trade for Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin. The move naturally elicited a variety of responses. Some people on Twitter acted like moronic caveman (good excuse to clear out some of my followers!), but thankfully Martin's new 49ers teammates were professional and to the point.
Adam Snyder was the first to react, as he was run down by TMZ Sports:
"It's a great new opportunity for him. He's coming in to a great group of guys, specifically the offensive line."
When asked if Martin will be treated with kid gloves due to the situation in Miami, Snyder shot that down -- saying, "We're gonna treat him like any other free agent that comes into our locker room."
As for his opinion on the trade -- Snyder says, "If he can help us win a Super Bowl, I'm all for it."
Shortly after that, Anthony Davis chimed in with his own comments on Twitter:
I'm sure Jonathan will be ready to go. He will help our team. #49ers— Anthony Davis (@AnthonyDavis76) March 12, 2014
We are all about winning over here. #49ers— Anthony Davis (@AnthonyDavis76) March 12, 2014
That last tweet was the absolute key to this. The 49ers are about winning, and any potential distractions are not a concern. We saw the team deal with its share of adversity in 2013, with the most notable issue being Aldon Smith leaving the team for a five-week trip to rehab. The team got through it, circling the wagons as needed.
Shortly after Michael Sam announced to the world that he was gay, NFL wide receiver Donte Stallworth weighed in on the notion of distractions and excuses. While Stallworth's comments were specific to Sam, they are completely applicable to the Dolphins nonsense. The 49ers are a team that handles distractions as needed, and move on with the sole intent of winning football games. They are the right kind of environment for Martin, and could be the team that helps him bounce back from a slow start to his NFL career. Whether it be playing swing tackle, or eventually taking over at a guard position, Martin is basically a free asset for now, and Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh were not going to turn down that opportunity.
Speaking of Harbaugh, he spoke with Ted Wells during his investigation of the Martin-Incognito problems. Here are his most notable comments:
Jim Harbaugh, Martin's former head coach at Stanford and the current head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, told us that he had never doubted Martin's tenacity, work ethic and dedication to the game, and that he had never seen Martin exhibit problems with social adjustment. Coach Harbaugh told us he believed that Martin likely could continue to have a successful career in the NFL.
Several former Stanford football players, as well as coaches Harbaugh and Shaw, concurred that Martin was a talented athlete and a great teammate, with an admirable work ethic. Both Coach Harbaugh and Coach Shaw emphasized that Martin was a well-adjusted and popular player while at Stanford.
Coach Harbaugh emphasized that he never doubted Martin's physical or mental toughness, and he believes that Martin can continue to have a successful career in the NFL. Coach Harbaugh also said that the atmosphere in the Stanford locker room, in his view, was not materially different from that of the San Francisco 49ers' locker room.