Friday, February 23, 2018
Sports

Martin, center of bullying probe, traded to 49ers

SAN FRANCISCO — Jonathan Martin is returning to familiar territory, months after he accused a teammate of bullying and left the Dolphins.

The offensive tackle is headed back to Northern California to play for Jim Harbaugh.

Miami traded Martin to San Francisco on Tuesday, reuniting the lineman with his college coach at Stanford and a support staff he knows well. Harbaugh publicly expressed his support of Martin last year.

Miami got an undisclosed draft pick on the first day of NFL free agency.

An investigation for the NFL determined last month that Dolphins guard Richie Incognito and two other linemen engaged in persistent harassment of Martin, another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer.

"Big news.... Beyond Blessed," Martin posted on Twitter.

The trade capped a busy first day for the 49ers, who lost to Seattle in the NFC title game.

San Francisco acquired quarterback Blaine Gabbert, the 10th overall pick in 2011, from Jacksonville for a sixth-round draft pick.

The Dolphins also agreed to a five-year contract worth more than $45 million with Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert — the spot Martin vacated last season.

Ware, Peppers cut

Two accomplished pass rushers became available when DeMarcus Ware and Julius Peppers were released to create room under the salary cap.

The Bears cut ties with Peppers, who has 118½ sacks in 12 seasons, as part of a series of moves that also included a five-year contract with former Raiders end Lamarr Houston.

The Cowboys let Ware and his 117 sacks go.

"A decision like this, involving a man who is a cornerstone player in the history of your franchise, is extremely difficult," Dallas owner Jerry Jones said.

With the cap rising $10 million to a record $133 million, players quickly found new homes.

Three-time Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd agreed to terms with the Saints, leaving the Bills. That was part of a merry-go-round of moves at the position including Malcolm Jenkins (Saints to Eagles); Donte Whitner (49ers to Browns); Antoine Bethea (Colts to 49ers); T.J. Ward (Browns to Broncos); Mike Mitchell (Panthers to Steelers) and Ryan Mundy (Giants to Bears).

Chicago also agreed to one-year deals with linebackers Jordan Senn and D.J. Williams.

Cardinals: Left tackle Jared Veldheer agreed to a five-year contract worth $35 million, with $17 million guaranteed.

Jaguars: They agreed to terms with former Broncos guard Zane Beadles on a five-year contract worth $30 million.

Staying: Among those signing with their 2013 teams were kickers Adam Vinatieri (Colts, two years), Nick Folk (Jets), Phil Dawson (49ers) and Dan Carpenter (Bills); running back Joique Bell (Lions, $9.3 million over three years); linebacker Perry Riley (Redskins, $13 million, three years); receiver Santana Moss (Redskins); and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (Falcons, three years).

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