With the Dallas Cowboys banding together in OTAs, the focus now shifts to locking up right guard Zack Martin. Will Martin be a Cowboy for life?
The Cowboys went against their DNA, going with a non-sexy pick instead.
These days, Manziel is fighting to revive his football career. Martin, on the other hand, is in line for a big pay-day.
The Dallas Cowboys should open their wallet for Martin. The right guard, who turns 27 in November, is a Pro Bowl, All-Pro type player that deserves a check with commas. He is the one of the best, if not the best, to suit up at his position in the NFL today.
Now, he must get paid handsomely for it.
With Ronald Leary signing with the Denver Broncos, the Cowboys are left with four lineman who could make history. Martin, from the state of Indiana, is a major part of this history. Though Leary was a great player too, his services were replaceable. The Cowboys cannot replace Martin.
Leary earned a four-year deal worth $36 million, $20 million of it guaranteed. He turned 28 last April.
But what does the rest of the NFL look like in terms of paying their guards?
Well, according to spotrac.com, the Cleveland Browns are spending the most amount of cap dollars in 2017 for the guard spot. Nearly $30 million is invested in the guard position for the Browns. As of now, the Cowboys are spending just under seven million.
That, of course, will change with Martin. Now, let’s take a look at the top earning guards heading into 2017.
5. Marshal Yanda | $9,125,220 | Baltimore Ravens | Age: 32
4. Mike Iupati | $9,700,000 | Arizona Cardinals | Age: 30
3. David DeCastro | $11,050,000 | Pittsburgh Steelers | Age: 27
2. Joel Bitonio | $12,237,813 | Cleveland Browns | Age: 25
1. Kelechi Osemele | $13,500,000 | Oakland Raiders | Age: 27
For reference, the Cowboys are using $2,853,391 of cap money towards Martin in 2017. He ranks 33rd on the list. His base salary in 2017 is $1,642,882.
The former first rounder is signed through the 2018, but of course, the Cowboys want to lock him up long-term.
The good news is this: Now that Tony Romo has retired, the Cowboys had $14 million injected into their cap space.
Yes, that’s right, Romo’s departure gives Dallas extra dollars and cents to operate. Romo’s retirement gave the organization monetary resource. He was employed by the Cowboys for 14 years.
Nobody on the roster should be happier about this extra cap space than Romo’s successor himself, Dak Prescott.
Martin is a reliable feature in the offense. He has started all 48 regular season games in his first three years in the NFL. In addition, he has started all three-possible playoff games the Cowboys entered in.
Martin was a Pro Bowl player in each of his three seasons. He joined the All-Pro team twice, 2016 being the most recent.
The right guard is a perfect symbol of how the Cowboys have operated as an organization as of late. Admirable. Logical. Smart.
The next smart move, of course, is locking up Martin for the rest of his career.