In a way, Ezekiel Ezekiel may pay for his sought-after contract extension.
Dallas can enforce a $40,000 fine for each day Elliott misses. Additionally, the team has authority to chase repayment of up to 25 percent of his $4.087 million signing bonus proration, as part of his rookie deal.
Should Elliott opt to sit out regular season action, he would potentially owe $226,000 for each game he skips, according to Archer, who also noted that Dallas can waive these fees if they so choose.
The No. 4 overall pick in 2016, Elliott is entering the penultimate year of his four-year, $24.956 million pact, which included $24.5 million guaranteed and a $16.35 million signing bonus. He’s due just $3.85 million in base salary for 2019.
Based on the latest hearsay, it appears Zeke will avoid having to open his own pocketbook. ESPN’s Ed Werder reported Thursday that Dallas has offered Zeke a contract that would make him one of the NFL’s highest-paid backs, likely surpassing the four-year, $52.5 million deal Le’Veon Bell inked with the New York Jets in free agency. Bell’s pact includes $25 million fully guaranteed and can max out at $61 million in total value.
A previous report Thursday claimed Elliott would be ready to go for the Sept. 8 season-opener against the New York Giants.
Witten Pining for Elliott
While impressed, as most are, with rookie RB Tony Pollard, who’s lessening the sting from Elliott’s absence, Cowboys veteran tight end Jason Witten knows how the offense’s bread is buttered and wants its catalyst back as soon as possible.
“You hope it’s sooner rather than later, that goes without question,” Witten said, per the team’s official website. “Any player as you get prepared for the season, it’s really hard. Zeke is extremely talented – he’s the best back in football. He’s smart, he’s got great instincts. But there’s no training like practice. The closer it gets, yeah there’s more issue that you hope he gets back.”
Cowherd Unloads on Elliott
In case you missed it, FS1 talking head Colin Cowherd regurgitated an extremely spicy take on his show Wednesday: Elliott’s career with the Cowboys could be coming to an end. His reasoning was rooted in owner Jerry Jones’ willingness to defend Elliott against NFL persecution in recent years, and Elliott’s supposed lack of leverage in negotions.
“Jerry Jones drafts Zeke. Zeke gets in trouble, immediately. Jerry goes to the wall for him. The fans bail on him. Media people like me bail on him. The NFL bails on him. The commissioner bails on him. And Jerry goes to the wall for him. You pay him back going to Mexico and two years out holding out. You don’t think Jerry’s justified with a little bit of his anger?
If I defended you — your mom wouldn’t, your dad wouldn’t, your job wouldn’t, your boss wouldn’t, your industry wouldnt — and I defended you, and I tried to get your boss fired, don’t you owe me a solid? Just a little solid?
I don’t always take the owner’s side, but in this instance, Jerry defended Zeke to the core. And make no bones about this: Jerry has all the leverage. Jerry just doesn’t have to pay Zeke for two years, then he can franchise him. Zeke’s career could be over. He doesn’t have to pay him. Doesn’t have to pay him.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter @KelbermanNFL