FRISCO, Texas – At long last, a deal is done.
It might not be signed yet, but the Cowboys and Zack Martin have agreed to terms on a contract extension that's expected to make the four-time All-Pro the highest-paid guard in football.
The news brings a close to more than a year's worth of speculation, as Martin has long been targeted as one of the Cowboys' top priorities for a new contract. From the time he stepped into the starting lineup in 2014, Martin has been one of the team's most consistent players. He has never missed a start at right guard in four seasons, earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors during every season of his career.
With an agreement now in place, look for Martin to keep earning those accolades in Dallas for the foreseeable future.
Terms have not been disclosed, but reports say it's a six-year extension worth more than $80 million, including $40 million guaranteed. This projects Martin's new salary at roughly $14 million per season, passing the benchmark that Andrew Norwell reached when he signed with Jacksonville in free agency on a five-year, $66 million deal.
This week's minicamp hints that the timing of this extension isn't a coincidence, either. Martin has been present the Cowboys' facility throughout the offseason, but he informed the front office in May that he wouldn't be participating in any of the team's OTAs.
He still maintained a workout regimen with the Cowboys' strength coaches during that timeframe, but he wasn't present at any of the nine voluntary OTAs during the last three weeks. With progress made in recent days, Martin has been back on the field for mandatory minicamp practice.
Despite the size of the contract, this news actually helps the Cowboys' salary cap situation. Martin had been slated to play the 2018 season on a $9 million salary as part of the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. Instead, with his salary spread over the next six years, the Cowboys should have more wiggle room on their 2018 salary cap.
Inserting Martin back into the starting right guard spot not only gives the Cowboys arguably the NFL's most-talented offensive line – but its highest-paid. Behind Martin's deal, Tyron Smith has six years remaining on an eight-year, $98 million extension. Travis Frederick also has six years left on his extension, which is valued at roughly $56 million, and La'el Collins is playing on a two-year, $15 million deal. Even newcomer Connor Williams, drafted No. 50 overall back in April, is playing on a four-year, $5 million contract.
With Martin back in the fold as arguably the most talented of all, the expectations will be sky high for what was already a vaunted offensive line.