SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 49ers rushed for 355 and 206 yards in their last two games against the Chargers and Cardinals in 2014.
A reason for that success on the ground was having starting right tackle Anthony Davis back in the lineup, who missed nine games before those last two weeks. A theme in 2014 was the running game's inability to find its rhythm, in part, because reserve tackle Jonathan Martin was forced into the starting lineup for the majority of the season.
San Francisco waived Martin Thursday, the team announced.
Martin was Pro Football Focus' 69th-ranked run blocking tackle on the season, who also allowed six sacks and 21 hurries in pass protection. He came to the team last spring via trade with the Miami Dolphins with an endorsement from former head coach Jim Harbaugh, who coached Martin at Stanford before he was taken in the second round (42nd overall) in the 2012 draft.
The 49ers' offense took on a different look last season, running the ball less frequently than the teams that were near the top of the league in rushing attempts during the previous three seasons when they reached the conference title game. San Francisco finished ninth in the NFL in rushing attempts per game in 2014.
Martin was apart of an offensive line that started eight different combinations throughout the season, losing its reputation as one of the league's best units that went mostly unheralded for aiding the development of quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick was sacked 52 times last season, second in the NFL to Jaguars' rookie Blake Bortles.
The 49ers signed former Bills lineman Eric Pears earlier this month, who has 68 starts at right tackle throughout his eight-year career, who could potentially replace Martin as the team's top back up tackle. Pears will also be in the mix to replace free agent left guard Mike Iupati, who signed a five-year, $40 million contract with Arizona.