According to Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys offered the former Pro Bowl quarterback $33 million annually and $105 million in guarantees. The length of the proposed pact is unknown.
Prescott didn’t sign on the dotted line, to little surprise. Why? The $33 million AAV is the same as what he rejected way back in September when negotiations were white-hot. The guaranteed money is also less than the Los Angeles Rams handed QB Jared Goff, who inked a four-year, $134 million extension with an NFL-record $110 million guaranteed.
There’s a word for this: “Lowball.”
Dallas will need to step up its financial commitment in order to lock down Dak by March 12, the deadline to apply the exclusive franchise tag. That’s fully expected to materialize barring a long-term agreement, preventing him from reaching unrestricted free agency on March 18 and theoretically keeping him under team control for 2020.
Fresh off a career season, the final year of his rookie deal in which he made just $2.025 million, Prescott reportedly is angling to surpass Seattle’s Russell Wilson ($35 million) as the league’s highest-paid signal-caller on an annual basis. In terms of overall value, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan holds the top spot, having signed a $150 million extension in 2018.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler recently reported that Prescott, 26, may prefer a short-term solution — a huge windfall now and the opportunity to shop his wares again later, before he turns 30 — rather than the extended megadeals that some of his teammates have garnered.
“If Prescott signed a Kirk Cousins-style three-year deal, for example, he’d hit free agency again at age 29,” Graziano and Fowler wrote. “Prescott might also be waiting to see whether the Texans extend Deshaun Watson this offseason, and then he could work off of that deal if it establishes new quarterback standards.”
Complicating matters is the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which must be ratified by the NFL and NFL Players Association before the Cowboys finalize any new contracts, vice president Stephen Jones announced at the Combine. This affects not only Prescott but free-agent wide receiver Amari Cooper, as well.
It’s been said that Dallas will use the tag on Prescott while hammering out a multi-year contract for Cooper, who could reset the receiver market, requiring a chunk of the club’s $77 million in available salary-cap room.
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Dak Has Throwing Session with QB Gurus [WATCH]
A muddied contractual situation isn’t stopping the organizational cornerstone from sharpening his craft.
As revealed Friday, Prescott is training with revered QB whisperers Tom House, Adam Dedeaux, John Beck, and Taylor Kelly — owners of 3DQB — in Huntington Beach, Calif., less than two weeks before free agency kicks off.
A snippet of the throwing session was shared on Twitter. Check it out in the video embedded below.
Traveling out west for the third year in a row, Prescott appears to be making good on his vow to work away from the Cowboys’ facility until pen meets paper. Absent a new deal, he may opt to skip a voluntary portion of the offseason program, which begins in April.
“It’s not a concern of mine,” owner Jerry Jones recently said, per The Athletic. “Dak understands, in my mind, one of the great things about Dak is his commitment to building a team. I don’t have an issue there.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL