Projecting Zack Martin’s Contract If The Dallas Cowboys Offer New Deal

zack martin

 Dallas Cowboys guard Zack Martin is one of the best in the business. But the Cowboys find themselves in a tricky predicament as Martin threatens to sit out the season if the Cowboys don’t renegotiate his current contract. Here, we will compare the current contract of Martin with other top guards and project the Dallas Cowboys’ offer should they open contract negotiations with the big man.

Top G Zack Martin Threatens to Sit Out Until New Deal is on the Table

Martin, a solid figure on the Cowboys’ offensive line, has been hinting at potentially sitting out the upcoming season. The reasons behind this possible move are largely financial. Martin has proven his worth on the field, and it’s clear he’s looking for a contract that appropriately reflects his high level of play.

Without adequate financial incentive, the Cowboys risk losing this valuable player.

And let’s make no mistake here – Zack Martin is more than just good; he is one of the best in the NFL. His skill was informally recognized when he achieved a 99 “Madden 24” rating, a feat only few players accomplish. Additionally, Pro Football Focus (PFF), a trusted analytical resource in professional football, rated him as a top 5 pass blocker at the position last season.

His contribution to the Cowboys’ offensive line has been invaluable and losing such a player could have significant implications for Cowboys QB, Dak Prescott and the team’s performance.

Comparing Martin’s Contract to Other Top Guards

To better understand what Martin might be looking for, let’s examine some of the current top contracts for guards in the NFL.

The six-year, $84 million contract he signed back in 2018 may have seemed impressive at the time, but the market has significantly evolved since then. Martin’s contract provides him with a base salary of $1.7 million and a restructure bonus of $11.8 million in 2023, but there’s no guaranteed money for the remaining two years, which is quite unsettling for a player of his caliber.

Looking at the current market, the recently signed contract of one-time Pro Bowl guard Chris Lindstrom of the Atlanta Falcons has significantly reshaped expectations. Lindstrom signed a five-year, $105.2 million extension with an average annual salary of $20.5 million, considerably more than Martin’s current deal.

Another elite guard, Quenton Nelson of the Indianapolis Colts, inked a four-year, $80 million contract, bringing his average annual salary to $20 million as well.

Considering these market changes and Martin’s accomplishments, it is no surprise that Martin is eager to get a new deal in place. He is currently paid about $7 million less per year than other top guards.

Potential Contract Offer From Dallas Cowboys to Zack Martin

Given Zack Martin’s age – he will be 33 in 2023 – it might be prudent to consider a shorter contract. A three-year contract might be more appropriate, taking into account potential age-related performance decline.

This contract proposal should be in the range of $63 million over three years, with $35 million guaranteed at signing, which includes the first-year salary and signing bonus, plus half of the second-year base salary.

Here’s how the contract could breakdown:

2023 – Year 1:

  • Base Salary: $15 million, fully guaranteed.
  • Signing Bonus: $12 million (spread across three years for cap purposes, so $4 million counts against the cap each year).
  • Guaranteed Money: All $27 million of year one is guaranteed.

2024 – Year 2:

  • Base Salary: $16 million. Half of the base salary ($8 million) is guaranteed.
  • Roster Bonus: $2 million if Martin is on the roster by the third day of the league year.
  • Cap Hit: $22 million ($16 million base + $2 million roster bonus + $4 million prorated signing bonus).

2025 – Year 3:

  • Base Salary: $16 million.
  • Roster Bonus: $2 million if Martin is on the roster by the third day of the league year.
  • Cap Hit: $22 million ($17 million base + $2 million roster bonus + $4 million prorated signing bonus).
  • Guaranteed Money: No guarantees in the third year except for the prorated signing bonus.

This layout offers Martin substantial guaranteed income and acknowledges his elite status while distributing the cap hit across the contract period for the Cowboys to manage efficiently. This would make him the highest paid guard in the league based on average annual salary, and should appease any concerns he has.

It also addresses potential concerns regarding age-related performance drop-off, providing a win-win solution for both parties.

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