New 49ers tackle Jonathan Martin back from illness
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Jonathan Martin’s early weeks with his new San Francisco 49ers teammates have been spent recovering from mononucleosis and regaining strength zapped by the viral infection.
Because he was contagious, Martin initially had to isolate himself for part of this month while sick. That has limited his on-field time during the team’s offseason program, and he didn’t practice during the voluntary organized team activity Wednesday.
“I was working out here for a couple of weeks before I got sick,” Martin said. “I was here from the beginning. It was important for me to be with the team and start the program. It’s been fun to be around the guys and get to know everybody and learn the offense. It’s been great. My teammates are great. The coach is great. So I’m excited to get back at it. It kind of stunk to have mono.”
Martin was traded from the Dolphins to the Niners in mid-March, providing him with a new start after his departure from Miami last October. He accused teammate Richie Incognito of bullying in a scandal that overshadowed the franchise’s 8-8 season.
Martin is aware of Incognito’s apologetic posts directed to him on Twitter from March following the veteran offensive lineman’s earlier rant and harsh comments about Martin.
Martin said again Wednesday he is thrilled to be “moving forward” and he hasn’t given the situation with Incognito “a second thought.”
An NFL investigation determined Incognito and two other Dolphins offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of Martin. Incognito was then suspended and missed the final eight games.
San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he hopes a Miami investigation from April that names him will soon be over.
Earlier this month, Miami Police released two calls to a 911 dispatcher saying a woman identifying herself as Jesus was lying naked in a bed and refusing to leave. The callers said the woman wanted to spend time with a third man who wasn’t there.
Police say the players also involved in the case are 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton and Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette. None of them has been charged with any wrongdoing.
“Well, the district attorney has the information today,” Kaepernick said. “At this point, I’m going to let them handle their business. I did nothing wrong in that incident. So, I want to do everything I can to let the DA close this matter. I’m very eager to have the matter closed.”
Coach Jim Harbaugh reiterated Wednesday he would like the 49ers to re-sign Kaepernick before the season starts, while also acknowledging reaching agreements on long-term commitments can be complicated. Kaepernick, who took over as the starter in November 2012 from departed 2005 No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith, would enter the final season of his original rookie deal.
“Again, I’m hopeful. I’m a big proponent of Colin Kaepernick, his abilities. On record as stating that I would like to see that happen. It’s a process. I know you’ve heard me use that word before in many other ways. But, that is not like some of the other examples. There’s a process in place. And it’ll play out.”
Kaepernick wouldn’t say what he thought would be a “fair” contract, a word he has used regarding his future with the franchise.
“I’m letting my agents handle all of that and I’m worried about being out here trying to get better with my teammates and get ready for the season,” Kaepernick said. “I’m playing football regardless.”
And he is thrilled to get to work with his deep receiving corps featuring Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree and Brandon Lloyd, who hardly looks as if he just spent a year out of football.
Lloyd signed to a one-year contract last month to rejoin the team that drafted him the fourth round in 2003.
He caught 105 passes for 1,510 yards and 13 touchdowns for San Francisco from 2003-05. That included leading the team with 48 receptions, 733 yards receiving and five TD catches in 2005.
Lloyd has also played for the Washington Redskins (2006-07), Chicago Bears (2008), Denver Broncos (2009-11), St. Louis Rams (2011) and New England Patriots (2012) during his career.
“I had seen plays he had made. But, I hadn’t seen him on a consistent basis,” Kaepernick said. “Coming off of a year off from football, he’s been amazing out here. Very smooth, very disciplined with his routes and an easy target to throw to.”
NOTES: New WR Stevie Johnson sat out Wednesday because “he had a little something he’s working through,” Harbaugh said without elaborating. ... Whether RG Alex Boone is absent because of his frustration with an unsettled contract situation, Harbaugh wouldn’t say. “I’ve always chosen, as a policy, not to discuss contracts publicly,” he said. ... Also absent: TE Vernon Davis and RB Frank Gore, who has been a regular working out at team headquarters “The workouts are voluntary,” Harbaugh said.