According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Dallas Cowboys‘ eight-time Pro-Bowler and six-time All-Pro guard, Zack Martin, might not report to camp.
This is all due to Martin’s unhappiness with his current contract and the team’s indifference to getting a new deal done. According to Schefter, Martin feels he is “woefully underpaid relative to the market.”
Zack Martin’s Deal Compared to Others Around the NFL
In 2018, Martin signed a six-year contract extension worth $84 million. The contract included a $20 million signing bonus, with $40 million guaranteed. This season, Martin will make $14 million with a base salary of $1.7 million and a restructured bonus of $11.8 million.
To put into perspective the kind of money that guards are making, here are some numbers for some of the top paid in the league and what they will make annually in 2023:
- Atlanta Falcons guard Chris Lindstrom will make $20.5 million.
- Indianapolis Colts guard Quenton Nelson will make $20 million.
- Indianapolis Colts guard Braden Smith will make $17.5 million.
- Green Bay Packers guard Elgton Jenkins will make $17 million.
- Jacksonville Jaguars guard Brandon Scherff will make $16.5 million.
For perspective, Martin ranks ninth on that list with this annual salary.
According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL, if a player does not report to camp, they will be fined $50k per day that they miss.
Zack Martin’s Career
Martin is one of the Cowboys’ most senior offensive veterans, just behind offensive tackle Tyron Smith. Martin is a six-time first-team All-Pro. Impressively, going into his 10th season with Dallas, he has more Pro Bowl appearances (8) than he does penalties (7).
Martin was recently announced as a member of Madden NFL 24’s “99 Club” as well. The last time this happened for a guard was in 2003 with former Cowboys’ guard Larry Allen.
Oddly enough, Martin had a spark of rare social-media activity to update his Twitter profile picture with this announcement after the news broke of his unhappiness with his current contract.
Who Could Step Up in Martin’s Absence?
The current scenario has intensified the competition among the guards in training camp as they need to be prepared in case Dallas fails to resolve the issue with Martin. The other guards on the roster are T.J. Bass, Chuma Edoga, and Matt Farniok.
This throws a wrench in the Cowboys’ offensive line multiverse of madness since there are still several question marks about what the final line will look like going into camp.
Versatility within the line has been a theme for this team since last season.
At OTAs and minicamp, reporters also noted that Martin was not practicing. When he spoke to the media then, Martin said it was due to a “soft tissue injury.”
More Contract Concerns for the Cowboys
After not striking a contract extension with running back Tony Pollard, this adds to the list of contract concerns for the Cowboys right now.
It’s no secret that Dallas needs to also figure out deals for receiver CeeDee Lamb, cornerback Trevon Diggs, and quarterback Dak Prescott. At the beginning of June, Jerry Jones talked to the media about contract extensions. Jones mentioned that he doesn’t necessarily need to get Prescott’s extension done first because it’s “not a prerequisite” for other deals.
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