ESPN’s Todd Archer reported Monday the Cowboys submitted a new, increasing offer to the former Pro Bowl quarterback “in hopes of kick-starting talks on a multi-year deal.”
The news has since been echoed by others on the local beat.
Archer didn’t specify exactly how much Dallas is now willing to pay Prescott, who’s reportedly pushing to surpass Russell Wilson ($35 million) as the league’s highest-paid QB on an annual basis. But he did note the latest proposal “would likely at least be in the Rodgers and Goff neighborhood, if not more” — starting at $33.5 million per year, in other words.
The Dallas Morning News recently reported the Cowboys, who’ve spoken with his agent twice since last month’s Scouting Combine, offered Prescott a deal worth $33 million annually, including $105 million guaranteed.
Dak didn’t sign on the dotted line, to little surprise. Probably because the $33 million AAV is the same as what he rejected way back in September when talks were white-hot. The guaranteed money is also less than the Rams handed Goff, who inked a four-year, $134 million extension with an NFL-record $110 million guaranteed.
Dallas will need to step up its financial commitment in order to lock down Dak by March 12, the tag deadline. That’s fully expected to materialize barring a long-term agreement, theoretically keeping him under team control.
Under this scenario, the team would use the exclusive franchise tag, prohibiting him from negotiating with outside clubs. Prescott would earn about $33 million for 2020, compared to $27 million for the non-exclusive tag.
The NFL’s free-agent period kicks off Wednesday, March 18, preceded by a two-day legal tampering window during which contracts can be agreed to but not physically signed.
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Cooper Says It’s ‘Very Important’ Cowboys Keep Dak
Impending free-agent wide receiver Amari Cooper made clear he wants impending free-agent quarterback Prescott to continue throwing him the ball in a Dallas uniform. It’s a “very important” arrangement that needs not be disturbed.
“We’ve built a good relationship so far,” Cooper said Thursday on 105.3 The Fan, via Blogging The Boys. “From the time I got here we were able to hit the ground running and just from my experience in being in the NFL I wouldn’t say that that’s a common thing. Sometimes you can line up with a quarterback after getting traded or going to a new team, whether it’s the draft or whatever, and it not go so smooth. And so I wouldn’t try to trade that for anything because I know what can be on the other side of that. I would say it’s very important.”
The numbers are Cooper’s biggest ally in his case to get Prescott paid. The former Raider, traded in October 2018 for a first-round pick, has thrived from the moment he arrived to North Texas, notching 132 receptions for 1,914 yards (14.5 yards per catch) and 14 touchdowns across 25 games in silver and blue.
Cooper led the team last season with 1,189 yards and eight scores on 79 grabs, making all 16 starts despite battling multiple lower-leg and foot injuries. The Cowboys finished with the NFL’s top-ranked offense in yards per game and the second-best passing attack, which averaged 296.9 yards per game.
The Cowboys are attempting to hammer out a lucrative contract for Cooper, who could reset the receiver market at more than $20 million annually, requiring a chunk of the club’s $77 million in available salary-cap space.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL