Seen as a victim in some eyes and a breaker of the ‘ locker room code’ to others, former Miami Dolphin tackle Jonathan Martin has exposed the fact that bullying does take place in the NFL. Due to this topic stepping into a national spotlight, the NFL has put the pressure on themselves and the Dolphins to take another look at the policy on bullying.
In early November, the result of the of this re-evaluation, the Dolphins suspended Richie Incognito for the remainder of the season. Jonathan Martin decided that he would not play for the Dolphins again and in doing so, sat out out for the rest of the season.
With the 2013-2014 season gone, the question remains: What’s next for Jonathan Martin?
According to Martin, he does want to play in the NFL again and is working out hard to stay in shape. As a General Manager, signing Martin would have some pros and cons.
One plus to adding Martin to a team would be his youth. Martin is only 24 years of age, so he still has time to grow and develop into an even better player. Also, Martin is pretty versatile. He can play both left and right tackle, with right tackle being his better side. Martin does have starting experience, having started 13 games. If any team is in search to add depth to their offensive line, or is weak at the tackle position, Martin should be a consideration.
With Martin coming out and proclaiming bullying , many General Managers will raise questions as to how bringing in Martin would affect their team. For one, they see that if Martin does endure some kind of conflict within the team, he isn’t afraid to speak up about it. Managers and team officials would much rather try to fix their problems in house, than for them to have the league get involved.
Another issue that will enter a GM’s mind is dealing with the extra media attention. With this still being fresh news, the players on the team will have to answer questions that will pertain to Martin. The extra distraction could be another burden placed on the team.
Lastly, management and the players understand that chemistry is a part of football. Will the players on the team really engage with Martin? Or will they simply exclude him when it comes to off the field events.These kind of questions and more will the enter the minds of GM’s as they take a look at Jonathan Martin.
If I were a team official or GM, and I needed a tackle, I would look to get one through the draft. There are many mid-round offensive linemen that end up doing really well in the NFL. If for some reason that option were to fail, I would not pick up Martin as of right now. I feel as though I would wait until the story fully gets resolved, even if that story carries into this upcoming season.