According to former NFL QB and current analyst Chris Simms, Prescott has rebuffed an offer that would have made him the highest-paid signal-caller in league history — $175 million over five years, or $35 million annually.
As Simms noted, Prescott is holding out for a four-year agreement. If he were to sign a five-year deal, the Cowboys’ preference, he’s seeking an incentivization of $45 million in the hypothetical final year.
“From what I know of the situation, and I know from some people who are in the know that he’s been offered five years, $175 million,” Simms told 105.3 The Fan’s “K & C Masterpiece” on Tuesday, via Sports Illustrated. “He wants a four-year deal. If they do agree to a five-year deal they would like a really big number at the end of that fifth year to cover their butts for what the market might be at the position five years from now. And I’ve heard he’s asking for somewhere like north of $45 million in that fifth year.”
SI.com’s Mike Fisher previously reported that Dallas’ five-year, $35 million-annual offer included $106 million in guarantees. Worth $175 million in total value, Prescott would dwarf Atlanta QB Matt Ryan’s league-leading $150 million pact. However, the rumored guarantees would fall short of Los Angeles QB Jared Goff’s record-setting $110 million.
No player in the sport’s history has ever crossed the $40 million AAV threshold. Seattle QB Russell Wilson, football’s richest player on an annual basis ($35 million), is well short of the colossal mark. Kansas City’s reigning Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes, figures to blow past Wilson, but even he might not draw the type of dough Prescott allegedly desires.
Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones conceded that, at its glacial pace, months-long negotiations could butt up against the July 15 deadline for Prescott either to ink a long-term contract or his $31.4 million exclusive franchise tag.
“I think so. I mean, at the end of the day I know everybody’s out there, ‘How have you not paid Dak?’ At the same time, we’ve tried to pay him, and he has to accept what we want to pay him,” Jones recently told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “But the deal’s got to be right for Dak, it’s gotta be right for us. As you know, the salary cap makes this a zero-sum game for owners. This is not something where Jerry and myself are trying to save money so the Cowboys can make more money for the Jones family. We’re just trying to do our very best working with [coach] Mike [McCarthy], working with [V.P. of player personnel] Will McClay. Really divide up the pie in the best way possible to win a Super Bowl.”
Under the latter scenario, with the two-time Pro Bowler playing on his tag, the team would need to offer Prescott 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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Dak Among Front-Runners for 2020 NFL MVP
Could 2020 be the Year of Dak? Vegas seems to believe so. The Cowboys’ field general has been given the third-best odds (+900) out of nine contenders to become the next Most Valuable Player, according to Caesar’s Palace sportsbook.
Mahomes (+400) is favored to take home his second MVP trophy in three years, followed by Ravens dual-threat star Lamar Jackson (+600), who won the award last season.
The rest of the QB-dominated field: Seattle’s Russell Wilson (+1200), Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady (+1600), Arizona’s Kyler Murray (+1600), New Orleans’ Drew Brees (+2000), Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (+2500), and Houston’s Deshaun Watson (+2800).
Oddsmakers apparently foresee a monster season for Prescott after he finished second in the league in passing yards in 2019, coming within one yard of tying the single-season franchise record held by Tony Romo. He also set new career highs with 30 touchdown tosses, 388 completions, and an 8.2 yards-per-pass average.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL