Chris Lindstrom’s record-breaking deal forces Cowboys’ hand

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Entering the offseason, the Falcons had the second most cap space of any team, and the club spent it, committing more than $250 million to contract extensions and free agent deals.

Jessie Bates III was the gem of the class, garnering a four-year, $64 million contract; however, that was trivial compared to the money that Chris Lindstrom received.

Coming off a campaign that ended with All-Pro honors, the former first-round pick inked the richest deal in NFL history for a guard — five years and $105 million.

For the upcoming season, Quenton Nelson ($20 million), Elgton Jenkins ($17 million), Brandon Scherff ($16.5 million), Joe Thuney ($16 million), and Joel Bitonio ($16 million) lead all guards in average annual contract value, with Lindstrom slated to earn $21 million per season.

These recent deals have caused problems for the Cowboys and future Hall of Fame guard Zack Martin, who said he is “woefully underpaid relative to the market,” a source told ESPN.

He’s sat out all of training camp in hopes of reworking his deal, and it seems Lindstrom’s deal forced Jerry Jones‘ hand as Adam Schefter reports the two sides have reached an agreement that adds $36 million over two years to his current contract.

Prior to the new deal, Martin was set to make about $7 million less than Nelson and Lindstrom after signing a seven-year, $93.41 million deal in 2018.

It’s just the way of NFL contracts, though. Just a couple of offseasons ago, Patrick Mahomes signed a 10-year, $450 million mega contract that has quickly become obsolete in the quarterback market. He’s by far the best player at his position and is not even close to the top five in terms of average annual value. Eventually, like Zack Martin, the Chiefs will rework Mahomes’ deal to properly compensate the best quarterback in football.

The Falcons’ deal with Chris Lindstrom has a chance to be similarly team friendly if the guard market continues to reset itself.

Photographer: Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire

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