Zack Martin didn’t take part in team drills Tuesday and won’t until “the pen actually hits the paper.” But the Cowboys offensive guard said he felt good enough about negotiations to show up to the team’s mandatory minicamp.
Otherwise, Martin likely would have stayed away from The Star as he did during organized team activities.
“I don’t know,” Martin said when asked if he would have come back without a deal being imminent. “We had talked a lot about it. I’ll just say that after this weekend I felt comfortable about coming.”
The Cowboys and Martin’s agent are finalizing a deal, by dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, to make him the highest-paid guard in the NFL. It’s a recognition of his four Pro Bowls and two All-Pro nods.
“It’s something obviously my agents and I, we were shooting for, so that’s a huge honor,” Martin said. “Obviously, that’ll probably get beat by someone whenever the next one signs, but that’s the way it works. But very excited to get it over with and put it in the past.”
Andrew Norwell received a five-year, $66.5 million deal with $30 million fully guaranteed at signing this offseason. Martin’s deal is expected to be six years. He was due to make $9.341 million in 2018 under the fifth-year option.
“Both sides are still talking and hopefully we’ll wrap it up here sooner rather than later,” Martin said.
Martin worked out on his own at team’s training facility during OTAs before going home as his teammates arrived to start practice.
“It was tough,” Martin said. “If you would have asked, I never would have thought in a million years I’d be the guy holding out and not coming to things. But that’s just the way it kind of worked. At the end of the day, I had to make a decision — as hard as it was — what was best for me at the time, and that was it. Hopefully it gets done, but I think I made the right decision for myself.”