MIAMI — Canadian defensive lineman Vaughn Martin has a new home.
The former Western Mustangs star signed a two-year deal as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins on Thursday. The six-foot-four, 297-pound Martin spent the last four years with the San Diego Chargers.
Martin had already boarded a flight for Seattle to visit the Seahawks when his agent called and informed him of the Dolphins’ offer.
“It really is just the commitment,” Martin said during a conference call about why he decided to sign with Miami. “The sense of commitment just to winning and moving forward and just doing it.
"You can't help but be humbled and flattered when someone identifies you as the piece of that puzzle moving forward, you know, to achieve that goal. So that's what it is. I want to be a part of it. I want to be here in South Florida. I want to help this team win."
The Chargers selected Martin in the fourth round, No. 113 overall, in the 2009 NFL draft, making him the first Canadian underclassmen to be selected. Martin still had three years of eligibility remaining when he declared for the draft.
Martin actually visited with the Dolphins prior to the 2009 NFL draft. That year, Miami also signed rush end Cameron Wake, the former B.C. Lions star who has gone on to play in two Pro Bowl games.
"I got to see him (Wake) in college," Martin said. ""I didn't know how much success I was going to have but I believed in myself and I had a goal.
"Of course it was unconventional but like I said I had a goal and desire and once I came here I wasn't disappointed. It really is the best thing. It is the best thing in the world. It's the best opportunity."
Martin gives the Dolphins flexibility along their defensive line as he can play either defensive tackle or end in the club's 4-3 scheme. The Chargers employed a 3-4 defensive alignment.
"We spoke about it a little bit but I'm a defensive linemen and in the NFL you're going to have to be interchangeable," he said. "Whether you come from a 4-3, 3-4 but like I said my goal is to help the team win.
"That's ultimately my role generally speaking and it is exciting."
Martin started 27 of the 48 games he suited up for with the Chargers. The 26-year-old recorded 78 tackles, three sacks and one forced fumble during his time with San Diego.
"We are excited that Vaughn is a member of the Dolphins," Miami GM Jeff Ireland said on the club's website. "He is an athletic player that we feel will make a positive impact and bring depth to the defensive side of the ball."
Martin was born in Jamaica but was raised in Toronto and London, Ont. He was selected in the fifth round, No. 39 overall, by the Montreal Alouettes in the 2011 CFL draft.
Martin said he was impressed after meeting with both Ireland and head coach Joe Philbin.
"Everyone's on the same page and that's the thing," he said. "That's kind of like a consensus towards the organization.
"Everyone wants to win. You can see it in their eyes and like I said I was flattered they identified me as a piece of that puzzle. So I really, I feel indebted now. All I have to do is come in here and work, which is good."
Martin was especially complimentary of Dolphins defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers.
"That (position coach) is the person you spend the most time with as a football player for the team," he said. "And everyone I spoke to spoke very highly of coach Kacy Rodgers.
"I had an opportunity to meet him four years ago and that was awesome. It really is just the commitment. The sense of commitment just to winning and moving forward and just doing it."