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Does Zack Martin’s deal mean anything for Jake Matthews?

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The star Cowboys guard just got paid. Does that affect Jake’s new deal?

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys have just paid star guard Zack Martin a boatload of money. Tell ‘em how much, Schefty.

That’s a lot of dough!

So, with Martin setting the record for how much an offensive guard can make, this is going to get each and every offensive lineman with a deal coming up to jot down some notes.

You have to think Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews and his camp have just had a mini-party. If this is how much a guard can make, what’s a left tackle worth now?

Well, it’s a bit complicated.

You have to leverage the idea that Martin is one of the best offensive linemen, if not the best offensive lineman, in all of football. If he were a left tackle, he’d be signing the kind of contract his line-mate Tyron Smith signed with Dallas (eight years, $97.6 million). But, he’s a guard, so six years and $84 million is as about as good as it gets.

Matthews is a mighty fine left tackle, but he’s not quite elite. That will give the Falcons the bargaining power in the contract discussion not to pay him like Smith, or his positional equivalent of Martin.

The deal I’m looking at right now with Jake is the Nate Solder/Giants contract that got struck in March. Though Solder’s a bit older than Matthews, they’re roughly as good as one another; neither are positional-best, but both get the job done. Solder signed a 4-year, $62 million deal, and that’s right around what Matthews and his camp will be looking to obtain, if not with a bit more longevity.

Saints T Terron Armstead, who’s a bit better than Matthews, and about the same age, signed a five-year extension worth $65 million in 2016 (though that deal got restructured in 2017). You can bet his camp will want to push for more than that.

He’s set to make about $12 million this year on the fifth-year option, and should average about $13-16 million a season when this deal gets done. One thinks five years, $70 million is in the realm of possibility, though the one major bargaining chip Atlanta does have comes with Matthews not quite being at that elite level.

Martin will make more money that Matthews will, but that’s purely because of his elite status. Matthews is going to get paid a good amount of money when it’s all said and done, but it shouldn’t be too prohibitive on the Falcons once they’re able to get it worked out.