The Carolina Panthers will have one less offensive tackle than they expected when training camp opens at the end of this week. Due to a back injury suffered during the offseason Jonathan Martin is expected to announce his retirement, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.
The Carolina Panthers claimed Martin off of waivers at the end of March after the San Francisco 49ers released him. Martin started his career with the Miami Dolphins after they drafted him in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He started every game his rookie season at right tackle before making the switch to left tackle in 2013.
This was the season he became a household name after he was the target in a bullying scandal that involved teammates Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey. He left the Dolphins halfway through the year and was traded to the 49ers in the offseason for a seventh round pick.
It certainly looks like the Panthers would have been without Martin either way this season because the injury would have required surgery that would have forced the 25-year old to miss the entire season.
The loss of Martin does not hurt the Panthers too much as they have been rather aggressive addressing the offensive tackle position this offseason. The team signed free agent Michael Oher and drafted Daryl Williams in the fourth round this past draft. They also will have Nate Chandler returning from injury, who is expected to be ready for training camp.