So, Chris Simms was wrong on all counts.
Not only have the Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott “never discussed” a five-year, $175 million contract that Prescott rejected, as Simms alleged, the latest proposal to the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback reportedly checks in under $35 million annually.
According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, Dallas is willing to make Prescott the NFL’s second-highest-paid QB behind Seattle’s Russell Wilson. But — and this Simms didn’t specify — the guaranteed money built into the offer is “on par” with Los Angeles’ Jared Goff record-setting $110 million.
Archer used this sourced information to debunk a theory that Prescott won’t be paid like a top passer because the Cowboys don’t categorize him as such.
If the Cowboys did not believe in Prescott, would they have made that kind of offer? If they did not believe in Prescott, would they have placed the exclusive franchise tag on him, which prevented other teams from making Prescott an offer? If they did not believe in Prescott, wouldn’t they have at least thought about going after a top free agent, like, say, Tom Brady?
Although Prescott reportedly prefers to leapfrog Wilson as the league’s richest-ever signal-caller, the $34 million-plus overture is an increase in Dallas’ previous offer, worth $33.5 million with at least $105 million guaranteed. It’s also a significant bump from the $31.4 million exclusive franchise tag that Prescott is yet to sign.
Clearly, though, the team is unwilling to meet Dak’s soaring demands — demands that don’t include “north of” $45 million for a hypothetical fifth year of the long-term agreement, as Simms reported.
“According to the team side and Dak Prescott’s agent, the report from @CSimmsQB is definitely not true,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Thursday. “The two sides have never discussed such scenarios or anything like it. Dak wants a shorter deal, the #Cowboys want a longer one. July 15 is the deadline.”
The roadblock now is the roadblock that clotted talks last month. And the month before. And the month before. Prescott is stumping for a four-year contract while the Cowboys are holding firm for a five-year commitment.
The sides have until July 15 to reach an accord or Prescott will be forced to play the 2020 campaign on his franchise tender. Under this scenario, the club would need to offer the 2016 fourth-round pick at least $37.68 million in 2021 — a 20-percent increase in salary — to prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent next March, per the terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
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Prescott Throws to Zeke, Dez Bryant in New Video [WATCH]
Dak may or may not be participating in the Cowboys’ virtual offseason program, but there’s no disputing his attendance in the lab.
That is, the lab of renowned wide receivers coach and Dez Bryant’s longtime trainer David Robinson, who posted a video to Twitter on Friday showing Prescott, Bryant and Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott conduct an on-field workout.
The group, including Broncos WR Fred Brown (Dak’s teammate at Mississippi State), was captured running routes and catches passes to, as Robinson put it, “train like a pro” ahead of the 2020 season.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL