Panthers claim OT Jonathan Martin off waivers; sign free agent WR Jarrett Boykin

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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — The Panthers spent Friday looking to upgrade their depth on offense.

Carolina claimed offensive tackle Jonathan Martin off waivers from San Francisco and signed free wide receiver Jarrett Boykin from Green Bay.

The 6-foot-5, 315 Martin was the primary victim in the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal involving Richie Incognito.

Martin, a former second-round pick by the Dolphins in 2012, started 32 of 38 games in three NFL seasons with Miami and San Francisco. He played both left and right tackle.

"Our goal is to build the strongest roster possible and add competition at every position," Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said in a release. "Jonathan brings quality experience to our offensive line."

In 2014, Martin played in 15 games with nine starts at right tackle for the 49ers. He helped pave the way for the 49ers to rush for a single-game franchise record 355 yards against San Diego, the most by any NFL team since November 2007.

The 25-year-old Martin spent his first two NFL seasons in Miami, but left the team to seek counseling after being harassed by teammates, including Incognito. The accusations led the Dolphins to suspend Incognito for the final eight games of the 2013 season.

A lengthy NFL investigation followed.

The NFL released the Ted Wells' report in February of 2014, finding a pattern of harassment with the Dolphins. The report said Martin was the primary target of vicious taunts and racist insults that occurred almost daily.

Teammates used slurs against Martin, threatened to rape his sister, and bullied him for not being "black enough," according to the report.

Incognito is white and Martin is black.

Following the NFL investigation, the Dolphins began cleaning house.

They fired offensive line coach Jim Turner and trainer Kevin O'Neill and did not re-sign Incognito or fellow free agent offensive lineman John Jerry, who was also implicated in the report.

Miami also parted ways with Martin, trading the two-year starter to San Francisco for a conditional seventh-round draft pick.

That sent Martin back to the Bay Area where he was reunited with Jim Harbaugh, his college coach at Stanford. Harbaugh left the 49ers after the 2014 NFL season to become the head coach at the University of Michigan. Martin was waived by the 49ers on Thursday.

Martin's role in Carolina remains unclear.

The Panthers signed free agent Michael Oher this offseason to play left tackle, and hope he can win the starting job. Mike Remmers played well last year at right tackle in his first season in Carolina.

Boykin gives the Panthers another option at wide receiver after signing a one-year contract.

Terms of his deal were not released.

Boykin, who went to high school in Charlotte, has appeared in 39 games with 11 starts in three seasons for the Packers, recording 57 catches for 731 yards and three touchdowns. His best season came in 2013 when he had 49 receptions for 681 yards and three TDs.

The 6-2, 215-pound Boykin joins Ted Ginn Jr. as the second free agent wide receiver to be signed by Carolina.

The Packers decided not to tender Boykin, a restricted free agent, a right-of-first-refusal contract worth $1.5 million in March, allowing him to become a free agent..


AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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