Dak Prescott is ready to touch pen to paper.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback has decided to sign his $31.4 million exclusive franchise tag by Monday, officially locking him in as the team’s starter for the 2020 campaign.
Once Prescott crosses the Ts on his tender, which was assigned on March 16, he will become the NFL’s seventh-highest-paid player in terms of total cash and the highest-paid in base salary, dwarfing 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo ($23.8 million) and Raiders tackle Trent Brown ($21.25 million), per Spotrac.com.
Of course, his $31.4 million figure (and, consequentially, his Cowboys salary-cap charge) could be a temporary placeholder. The sides will attempt to negotiate a long-term contract that may make him the sport’s richest-ever player but also allow the club to spread out his cap hits across four or five seasons.
Deadline on Potential Dak Prescott Multi-Year Contract Extension
The deadline to strike an agreement is July 15. Failing that, Prescott — who earned “just” $2.025 million in 2019, the final year of his rookie deal — will play on the tag and either resume discussions with Dallas at a later date or set his sights on 2021 unrestricted free agency.
ESPN reported last month the Cowboys floated an offer to Dak’s camp worth roughly $34 million annually, with upwards of $110 million guaranteed. A subsequent report indicated that the parties have been relatively silent in recent weeks, though there is mutual optimism a deal will be reached by the deadline.
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No Holdout for Dak Prescott in 2020
That Prescott is inking the franchise tender is mostly a formality, encouraging as it is. For a 26-year-old who has aspirations to cash in again at 30 — such is the reason he is haggling for a four-year commitment while the Cowboys want a five-year pact — the two-time Pro Bowler was never going to put a guaranteed $31.4 million at risk.
Along those same lines, there always was an extremely unlikely chance he staged a holdout, jeopardizing an accrued year toward free agency. Now there’s a zero percent chance.
“Once he officially signs his franchise tender, Dak Prescott will be contractually obligated to report to training camp on time, whether or not he and the Cowboys can figure out a long-term deal,” Schefter noted.
Dallas is tentatively scheduled to open training camp July 28. And Prescott will run with the first-stringers. This was the plan all along, regardless of financial outcome.
“They won’t (let it get to that). Absolutely not,” NFL insider Jay Glazer reported earlier this week, alluding to a potential holdout. “Dak Prescott will be a part of the Dallas Cowboys for a long, long time. They will get this worked out.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL