One big reason: 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh coached Martin at Stanford and stated to independent investigator Ted Wells that he still believes Martin had a salvageable NFL career. That was our first clue Martin could be reunited with with his former coach.
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Harbaugh told the Associated Press following the signing that Martin should — and will — get a fresh start in San Francisco.
"Because of my relationship recruiting Jonathan, and [I] coached Jonathan for three years at Stanford, I'm confident he will be committed to the mission and the organization, and very excited about it," Harbaugh said. "I believe everybody deserves an Etch-A-Sketch opportunity and an opportunity to start a new chapter."
Martin, whom Harbaugh called "a personal friend," is already in the area taking classes at Stanford. Harbaugh and Martin spoke on Tuesday night following the trade, and Martin is expected to be at the 49ers' facility for a physical either Wednesday or Thursday.
The 49ers gave up a pittance to land the former second-round pick: a conditional seventh-rounder in 2015 if Martin makes the 49ers' 53-man roster this season. Harbaugh believes that the trade will end up serving everyone well in the end.
"The goal for this transaction is a win-win," Harbaugh said. "It's a great opportunity for Jon to demonstrate to the football world that he's a football player and worthy of his high draft status. It's a great opportunity for our organization to add a second-round pick into our organization."
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- Jim Harbaugh
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