The Carolina Panthers were hit with a surprise days before training camp opens in Spartanburg with the news that offensive tackle Jonathan Martin is retiring. News first broke from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network who says the 25-year-old offensive tackle was facing back surgery, which prompted him to retire.
Martin is perhaps best known for his public feud during the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal. He found himself traded to the 49ers to play under Jim Harbaugh last year, then signed with the Panthers early in free agency. He was slated to be a backup offensive tackle for a unit wracked with a lack of depth.
Jonathan Jones paints the picture of Martin being standoffish during his time with the Panthers:
Martin was a Panther for 4 months. Never saw him in pads. He declined my one interview request. Barely knew him any more than you did— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) July 27, 2015
Perhaps it's understandable that he would be wary of the media given the start to his career in Miami, but this attitude would be problematic if it permeated his relationship with teammates.
Now the Panthers find themselves with one less option at the team's worst position. It's far from ideal given how late it is in the process, but Carolina's best move right now would be to wait until the first round of cuts and see if someone promising pops loose. Anyone signed at this point would be short-term at best.