Offensive tackle Jonathan Martin’s retirement seems to be as much about his heart as his back – as in, it doesn’t appear Martin’s heart was in it anymore.
The good news is the Carolina Panthers have more depth at the position than at this time last year.
While they still don’t have a long-term answer at left tackle, in the past nine months they’ve signed right tackle Mike Remmers from St. Louis’ practice squad, picked up free agent left tackle Michael Oher, made a waiver claim on Martin and drafted a right tackle in the fourth round in Daryl Williams.
They also have Nate Chandler, who started the first 11 games at right tackle last season, coming back from knee and toe surgeries.
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This is not to say there aren’t questions. The biggest one surrounds Oher, who started on the Ravens’ Super Bowl team a few years ago but floundered in Tennessee last year in his only season with the Titans.
If Oher’s surgically repaired toe holds up and he returns to his Baltimore form, the Panthers will have a solid stop-gap to protect Cam Newton’s blind side the next two seasons.
If not, the team’s improved depth at tackle will be put to quite a test.