Losing Martin won't hurt

Tight end David Martin's talent was matched only by his inability to stay on the field, PackerReport.com's Steve Lawrence says.

Moment of silence, please, for the departure of tight end David Martin.

That one moment represents just about the entire time in which the Packers could count on Martin and Martin, in turn, would reward the Packers for their seemingly never-ending faith.

Take last year, for instance. With Koren Robinson suspended, Greg Jennings doing a rookie fade route, Bubba Franks splitting his time between blocking and dropping passes and everyone and his brother covering Donald Driver, the Packers really could have used Martins receiving skills. Instead, Martin didnt catch a pass over the final seven weeks of the season. He missed five of those games due to injury.

In 2005, he had a three-game run of nine catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns. He was injured the next three weeks.

In 2004, he spent half the season on injured reserve.

So it went for Martin, who was drafted as a wide receiver out of Tennessee in 2001. Maybe the added weight to become a tight end led to his lengthy injury history. Maybe he just wasnt tough. Maybe he was snake-bitten and needed a change of scenery.

Either way, the Packers couldnt count on him, so its hard to imagine GM Ted Thompson losing much sleep after learning Martin was going to sign with the Miami Dolphins.

Whatever amount the Dolphins decide to hand Martin and make sure youre in a safe place so you dont fracture a bone when your jaw drops when those numbers become public its too much for a player whos been a bigger tease than any scantily clad woman whos ever donned a Hooters uniform.

What will the Packers do? Outside of Daniel Graham, whos probably headed to Denver or Seattle, its a weak free-agent class at tight end, and the draft class isnt so great, either.

Interestingly, Miami is shopping Randy McMichael why they prefer Martin over McMichael, who is due a $3 million roster bonus on March 12, says a lot about why the Dolphins are perennial disappointments.

McMichael hasn't missed a game in his five seasons, and has averaged 65 catches for 671 yards and four touchdowns the past three seasons. Blocking isnt his strong suit, but that could be Franks' niche.

The asking price reportedly is a third-rounder. Everyone knows Thompson clings to draft picks like theyre life preservers, but considering the tight end talent on the market, he might find that price not so difficult to swallow.

Steve Lawrence is a regular contributor to PackerReport.com. Send comments to steve_lawrence_packers@yahoo.com.

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