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Harbaugh can’t wait to give Martin “a big hug”


Forgotten in the free-agency frenzy was the status of tackle Jonathan Martin. A sudden reminder came Tuesday night, when the Dolphins shipped Martin to the 49ers for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2015.

It reunites Martin with one of his college head coaches, Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh. And Harbaugh is happy to welcome Martin back to the Bay Area.

I can’t wait to give him a big hug,” Harbaugh told Jarrett Bell of USA Today.

“The goal with this transition is win-win,” the fourth-year 49ers coach explained. “It’s an opportunity for Jonathan Martin to prove to the football world that he is worthy of his high-round draft status. The goal is for this to be win-win. As far as the other thing, I think everybody deserves an Etch-A-Sketch opportunity for a second chance.”

The 49ers will lose that 2015 seventh-round pick only if Martin is on the 49ers’ opening-day roster.

Some would say Martin’s situation shouldn’t be described as a “second chance,” since he left the Dolphins through no fault of his own. Regardless, he doesn’t have many more chances in the NFL. If it doesn’t work out with Harbaugh in San Francisco, it likely won’t work out anywhere.