After his nine-game leave of absence to end the 2013 season with Miami, offensive tackle Jonathan Martin is vying to make San Francisco’s roster. And in the view of former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder, Martin has to be prepared for some tough battles after the allegations of bullying that led to Richie Incognito’s banishment from the Dolphins and an NFL-backed investigation of the club’s workplace environment.
Crowder, who’s now a radio host on 560 AM in Miami, told Florida Today that Martin “is going to get everybody’s best” after the fallout from the Dolphins’ scandal.
“You cannot let Jonathan Martin dominate you as an NFL player now,” Crowder said, per David Jones of Florida Today. “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.”
It’s important to note that Crowder and Incognito were teammates in Miami and get along, with Crowder telling Florida Today: “I’m cool with Richie right now. I can call Richie Incognito this second and he’ll say, ‘What’s up, Crowder?’ ”
No matter what happened last season in Miami, Martin has a challenge ahead this summer with San Francisco. If he’s to make the club, it will be as a backup to starters Joe Staley and Anthony Davis. And if Martin is getting backup reps in training camp and in the preseason, he will be facing plenty of players just like him — reserves trying to make the team. Could the events of a season ago in Miami cause players to grind a little harder against Martin? It’s possible, but it’s not as if those competing against him won’t already be taking their best shots. The lure of securing or keeping an NFL job figures to be the ultimate motivation in these competitions for the final roster spots around the league.