Le’Veon Bell wants Ezekiel Elliott to secure the bag.
“they gotta pay up, period,” were Bell’s exact words.
Elliott is entering the third year of his four-year rookie contract, set to earn a modest $3.85 million in base salary for 2019. He’s currently skipping training camp, which began July 28, and supposedly has threatened to sit out the regular season absent a new deal, ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported Tuesday.
Representatives for running back Ezekiel Elliott have told Dallas Cowboys that he will not play in the 2019 season without a new contract, a source close to the situation told Anderson.
The source added that at this time, it is not likely that Elliott’s holdout continues into the regular season, based on the belief that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wants to get a new deal done with the running back before Week 1.
The fourth overall pick of the 2016 draft, Elliott is pining to become the highest-paid back in NFL history after pacing the league with 4,048 rushing yards across three seasons.
Dallas is also negotiating extensions for walk-year starting quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper, with the hope of locking down the trio before Week 1. The team’s brass, led by owner/general manager Jerry Jones, reportedly has submitted lucrative offers to each player.
Bell The Baseline?
When (not if) Elliott puts pen to paper, he may eclipse the four-year, $52.5 million contract Bell inked with New York in free agency. His pact includes $25 million fully guaranteed and can max out at $61 million in total value.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, will do their damndest to avoid re-writing the record book with Zeke.
“We’ve got three really good football players that we’re dealing with here and that have very good representation,” Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said on July 31, via The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “And they want to see the market. We can’t push the issue unless we want to be a market-setter. And we’re damn sure not going to be a market-setter, because of all the things that go with being a Dallas Cowboy.
“We want to be fair. We want our players to feel good about their contract. But at the same time, we don’t want to do things that are out of line because we can’t afford to be that way.”
As of this article, the Cowboys have roughly $23.6 million in available salary cap space.
But Not Gurley?
Taking over the highest-paid title would mean usurping Los Angeles star Todd Gurley, who signed a four-year, $57.5 million deal in 2018.
If Dallas has its druthers, it’s unlikely to materialize, as the club reportedly doesn’t view Elliott’s worth on par with Gurley’s.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter @KelbermanNFL.