Appearing on ESPN Radio on Sunday, Tannenbaum, who also ran the Miami Dolphins’ football operations from 2015-18 and currently works as an analyst for the Worldwide Leader, stated his belief that Prescott will land a staggering $400 million deal — $40 million annually over 10 years — from the Dallas Cowboys.
The league’s richest QB, in terms of annual salary, is Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who’s pulling in $35 million per year. In terms of total value, Atlanta QB Matt Ryan holds the top spot, having signed a five-year, $150 million extension in 2018. There’s never been a $200 million deal, let alone $400 million, in the sport’s history.
Regardless of how they skin the proverbial cat, it was always a pipe dream that Prescott would become the first player to reach the $40 million mark despite the early success in his still-young career and his supposed demand to the effect.
Then again, Tannebaum has been something of a Dak cheerleader, championing for the two-time Pro Bowler to receive his just desserts. During a recent segment on ESPN’s Get Up, he used Prescott’s talk-is-cheap mantra as rationale to reward the 26-year-old.
“Zeke Elliott … you reward the wrong behavior, in my opinion,” Tannenbaum said in a message to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. “But what [Prescott] just said, that is priceless. You want him to hold everybody else accountable. You pay him first, and everybody else falls in line.”
Scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency in March, Prescott is playing out the final year of his rookie deal, making $2.025 million in salary for 2019.
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Cowboys Lowballed Dak With Initial Contract Offer: Report
It’s Negotiating 101 — one side starts low, the other counters high, and both meet somewhere in the middle. The Cowboys certainly stuck to the script in discussions involving Prescott, with whom they’ve been negotiating a long-term contract.
And the absence of a deal can be traced back to Dallas’ original offer, which is to say was not well received by the two-time Pro Bowl passer’s camp.
Yahoo Sports NFL insider Charles Robinson revealed last week that the Cowboys initially floated a $25 million-per-year proposal, lowballing agent Todd France at the onset of talks. This, it appears, was the impetus for the ballyhooed $40 million annual demand that Prescott made, almost in retaliation for his perceived slight.
“Early on in the process what I was told was the reason why there was really some difficulty early in the process was just that Dallas came in low,” Robinson said on the Boys and Girl Podcast, via SB Nation’s RJ Ochoa. “I was told flat out Dallas’ first offer on the table was like $25M. Now this was a while ago. But it was low enough at $25M that Todd France, what I was told … I mean he was upset, and he countered with just an astronomical per year figure. Not because that’s what he actually wanted, but he was kind of flipping the bird to the Cowboys. Saying like, ‘Look, we’re not doing this. We’re not starting in the 20s. You can get off that right now.’”
Cowboys To Lose Two Stars in NFL Free Agency?
Despite more than $74 million in projected 2020 salary cap space, the Cowboys are at risk of their biggest talents landing elsewhere. CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reported last Sunday on the “increasing odds” that Dallas loses wide receiver Amari Cooper and cornerback Byron Jones in free agency.
The team supposedly has made “no progress” in extension talks for both players, as well as Prescott, also unsigned beyond this year.
Of the trio, Prescott appears to have the best odds of sticking around. Per La Canfora, “retaining Prescott remains the primary objective of owner Jerry Jones,” who has the franchise tag at his disposal — and will execute it — if a long-term contract cannot be struck.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL