The Cowboys made a similar move last month with Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith. As true as it was then, the transaction is more about creating space to carry over to 2021 when the cap is expected to be lower because of the coronavirus pandemic than using it on adding players to the roster.
By re-working the contracts for Smith and Martin, the Cowboys have created roughly $15 million in cap room. Unlike the Smith deal, the Cowboys did not add any voidable years to Martin’s contract since he is signed through 2024.
The Cowboys will need salary cap room next season to either sign Dak Prescott to a lucrative multi-year extension or to again use the franchise tag on him at a cost of $37.7 million.
After re-working Martin’s contract, the Cowboys are expected to be more than $20 million under the 2020 cap and can carry over whatever is not used this season into 2021.
The Cowboys turned $9.9 million of Martin’s $11 million base salary into signing bonus in a bookkeeping move to open up the space. His base salary for this year is $1.1 million and the team has an additional $1.98 million of salary-cap proration added to Martin’s cap figure for each remaining season under contract.