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Dallas Cowboys Utilize 5th-Year Option on Guard Zack Martin

Unsurprisingly, the Dallas Cowboys have exercised their option to add a fifth year to guard Zack Martin‘s rookie contract. He is now signed through the 2018 season and will likely get a much longer contract extension in the near future.

The news was shared on social media by ESPN’s Field Yates, who also gave us the financial details of the option:

Field Yates on Twitter

Source: the Cowboys have picked up G Zack Martin’s 2018 5th year option. It’s worth $9.341M.

Operating similarly to the NFL’s transition tag, the fifth-year option pays a player the average of the top-10 salaries at his position. Offensive linemen are treated as one entity, not separating tackles from guards and centers. This is a very nice deal for interior linemen as they tend to get less money in the open market.

The team option on rookie deals is exclusive to first-round draft picks. It has been in effect since the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement. It’s the primary reason that you don’t see teams trading out of the first round of the nearly as much as they used to.

Zack Martin, Cardinals
Guard Zack Martin (AP Photo/James D Smith)

For Zack Martin and the Cowboys this may simply be a formality. There is a deadline in early May to pick up the option so Dallas has to go ahead and do it now, even if they are planning to give Martin a long-term extension in the coming months.

The same happened last year with center Travis Frederick.  Dallas utilized his fifth-year option in April 2016 but then Frederick agreed to an six-year, $56 million contract in August.

Negotiations between Zack Martin and Dallas should be fairly simple. Frederick’s contract set a standard that both parties will likely point to, with maybe a slight bump for annual inflation. I would expect Martin’s own long-term deal to be announced no later than the end of preseason, if not much sooner.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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