New San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Jonathan Martin had to know he would face scrutiny from fellow NFL players following the whole bullying scandal of a season ago. That’s likely one of the reasons he was traded to a team like the 49ers, who presents Martin with the ability to play close to his home for his college coach.
While things might be going swimmingly in San Francisco, some around the league have not forgotten about the situation in South Beach last year between Martin and Richie Incognito. Former Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder, who suited up for the team from 2005-2010, had this to say about Martin (via Florida Today).
If you are a Pro Bowl player, if you are big, you can talk however you want. The little rookie has to earn his respect. Nowadays, Jonathan Martin is getting (paid) with the 49ers because he was bullied in the NFL. I think that’s ridiculous. … There is a type of person that is made to play at that level and if you can’t take criticism and you can’t learn from it and strive from it, you shouldn’t be in the NFL.
Crowder might be failing to recognize that Martin is getting paid becuase he’s a talented young offensive lineman who was selected in the second round of the NFL draft just a couple years back. The NFL doesn’t usually give up on individuals as talented as Martin is, especially this early in his career.
You cannot let Jonathan Martin dominate you as an NFL player now,” Crowder said. “With him quitting on the team, with him being — perception is reality — with him being as soft as he is and … how another grown man’s words could make you quit on your team, there is not going to be anybody that is going to let him dominate them. If anybody goes against Jonathan Martin, they have no respect for him.
I can think of a certain high-valued NFL head coach who respected Martin enough to trade for him. And don’t tell the other 52 players that will be on San Francisco’s Week 1 roster no one has respect for Martin.
The entire Martin-Incognito scandal gave a black eye to both players as well as the Dolphins organization. It might be better for all sides to move on from the situation and the players involved to actually be given a second chance to succeed in the NFL. As a radio talk show host, it’s apparent that Chowder’s primary goal is to stir the pot here.
If players who kill teammates when driving under the influence can potentially be given another opportunity in the NFL, surely someone who obviously went through the psychological issues that Martin did last year can be given another shot, right?
Photo: Fox Sports