Amidst a flurry of roster moves on Thursday, which included releasing two franchise icons in Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor, the Seattle Seahawks quietly signed free agent guard Marcus Martin.
Martin, 25, was a second-round pick in 2014 by the 49ers. The former USC product appeared in 26 games (24 starts) for San Francisco from 2014-2016, before he was cut.
He spent the past two seasons bouncing around the Browns and Cowboys, spending all of 2018 on the injured reserve.
Now, he’ll get a chance to crack the roster on Seattle’s very crowded offensive line.
Martin’s biggest skill set for the Seahawks will be his versatility, as he has played center, guard and tackle in the NFL – although he is primarily a center.
Seattle is set in the starting five, with Duane Brown, Mike Iupati, Justin Britt, D.J. Fluker and Germain Ifedi. Phil Haynes, Jamarco Jones, George Fant, Joey Hunt, Jordan Simmons and Ethan Pocic all seem likely to occupy a roster spot, and Joey Hunt, Jordan Roos and Elijah Nkansah have NFL experience as well, giving Seattle one of the deepest offensive lines in recent memory.
However, it is worth noting Seattle is bringing in a veteran who has experience playing guard and center, as that could be a sign that Pocic, Seattle’s 2017 second round pick, doesn’t have a secure roster spot.
Martin has a long road ahead of him to make the roster, but his invitation into camp is proof that coach Pete Carroll remains committed to his intense culture of competition – especially during training camp when no one’s job is safe.
BALTIMORE — The Rams have made a roster move on the eve of their first practice with the Ravens, signing defensive end Marcus Martin.
A college free agent out of Division-II Slippery Rock, Martin initially signed with the Seahawks following the spring’s draft. Even though Martin recorded a record-setting 56.0 sacks in college, he joined the Seahawks to play as a fullback. That ultimately did not work out, as Martin was waived in late May.
Martin is the all-time NCAA leader in sacks irrespective of division with his 56.0 quarterback takedowns. He holds the record for Division-II career tackles for loss as well, with 92.5.
Los Angeles announced Margin’s signing as a defensive end, meaning he will likely go back to playing defense.
The Rams will practice with the Ravens this week before taking on Baltimore for Los Angeles’ first preseason matchup on Thursday evening.
While the Seattle Seahawks roster went topsy turvy on Thursday by releasing two of their legends; the roster spots cleared by waiving strong safety Kam Chancellor and wide receiver Doug Baldwin were put to immediate use by signing three lesser-known players.
Much lesser known players.
By waiving Chancellor and Baldwin due to failed physicals along with their last remaining open roster spot, the organization created the room to sign cornerback Jamar Taylor, fullback Nick Bellore and guard Marcus Martin. It was known the Seahawks planned to add Taylor as presumably a veteran option for their nickel cornerback competition featuring Akeem King and Kalan Reed but Bellore and Martin weren’t known until the Seahawks made the move official.
Taylor has considerable experience at corner.
Well, Bellore and Martin also boast similar experience at positions with different degrees of difficult to make the team. Although the Seahawks worked out a few fullbacks during rookie mini-camp last weekend; they had no full-time fullback on the roster, as two-year starter Tre Madden remains a free agent with no sign the Seahawks will re-sign him. With Bellore filling the void now, he’s no spring chicken — so Madden’s veteran pricing wasn’t the issue.
One would think the Seahawks would skew younger or go through 2019 sans fullback but at this point, they aren’t.
An undrafted player out of Central Michigan in 2011, Bellore brings special teams versatility to the table, which likely helped him earn the job. Another recent Detroit Lions player who played with the organization from the past two seasons, he also has a two-year stint with a Seahawks division rival, the San Francisco 49ers, before signing with the Lions. Rounding out, his NFL experience is the team that gave him his start — the New York Jets. Signed following the drafted in 2011, he spent his first four seasons in New York.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had plenty of success over the years with finding defensive talent from small schools. From Donnie Shell and Jack Lambert to Greg Lloyd and Javon Hargrave, they unearthed gems that most teams overlooked. The Steelers believe they found promising talent at outside linebacker last year with Keion Adams from Western Michigan. This year’s small school talent pool includes someone from the Steelers own backyard. West Mifflin High School graduate Marcus Martin, a defensive end from Slippery Rock University, should be on the Steelers radar. Why? Because he capped off an amazing college career with a historic senior season. Martin’s senior year proved he belongs with his big school counterparts.
The 2018 NFL Draft is just around the corner. One of the Steelers main needs is an inside linebacker who can cover ground and tackle. Martin is someone who can do just that, with a whole lot of heart and a non-stop motor. Despite his small school status, Martin is one of the most productive defensive linemen in NCAA history. Prior to his legendary Division II career, Martin was a standout defensive player at West Mifflin High School. In addition to football, Martin made a name for himself participating in track events such as running the 200m, javelin and shot put.
Martin isn’t the most imposing player in college football, but he’s made a name for himself with his production. He’s the all-time sack leader in college football with 56, and owns the all-time Division II record with 92.5 tackles for loss. Martin was a dominant force for Slippery Rock from the moment he stepped on the field in 2014. He started every one of his 48 games. The West Mifflin native racked up 302 tackles (139 solo), 56 sacks, six forced fumbles, and six passes defended. Slippery Rock’s coaching staff appreciated Martin’s unrelenting effort and hustle.
“There’s no question he could be starting at Pitt or anywhere else in the country,” Slippery Rock coach Shawn Lutz said. “The myth is that a defensive end in a 4-3 (defense) has to be 6’4″ or 6’5″. A lot of these teams are saying if you can pass rush, we can’t coach that. I don’t care what defense we play.” Considered short for a defensive lineman at 6’1″, Martin did not receive a Division I scholarship. Slippery Rock offered him a home and he rewarded them with 16 sacks, earning the PSAC West Freshman of the Year award. “I don’t know that there are many of him at any level,” said Cal (Pa.) coach Gary Dunn, “He’s the total package. He plays nonstop.”
To say Martin accomplished a lot at the Rock would be an understatement. His awards are a testament to his athletic ability, superior work ethic, and a genuine love for the game. “One thing I’ve definitely gotten better at is football IQ: understanding offenses and being able to predict things before they happen and being able to read backfields,” Martin said. Despite major schools holding his stature against him, Martin proved them wrong. “That’s just something I keep in the back of my head,” Martin said. “I am a shorter guy, so I gotta work on my other (skills). I can’t change my physical attributes, I’m as tall as I’m going to get. The things you can get better at is your quickness, your strength and everything mentally. So that’s the things I focus on.”