The cards are on the table and the ball is in Dak Prescott’s court.
With less than 24 hours until the signing deadline, NFL Network’s Jane Slater was informed the Dallas Cowboys submitted their final long-term contract offer to the star quarterback: a five-year deal worth “between” $33-35 million annually, with more than $100 million guaranteed.
“Why is the extra year a sticking point? I’m told they just don’t do 4 year extensions. The #Cowboys consider the offer top money so they want the extra year,” she tweeted.
Slater added, in response to a follower’s query: “They front load the money. So instead of year 3 negotiating a new deal when tv money, gambling revenue, etc expected to spike Dak has to wait til year 4. Dak’s position allows 31.4 this year possibly 37M (w tag) following or a new deal then which could be 4-5 and we do this again”
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Where Things Stand on Eve of Deadline
This — length — has been the holdup all along in nearly year-long negotiations. Prescott, 26, prefers to tie his pact to the NFL’s ever-increasing revenue streams and cash in again at 30, while the Cowboys want a five-year commitment from the former Pro Bowl passer, standard for in-house extensions.
Assuming nothing changes by 3 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Prescott will play the 2020 campaign on the fully-guaranteed $31.4 million franchise tender. In a worst-case scenario, if tagged again next offseason, he would collect another $37.7 million. Meaning he’d clear roughly $71 million before likely testing the free-agent market in 2022 — still only 28 years old.
Slater was told Monday “there isn’t a lot of optimism” for Prescott and the Cowboys to hammer out a long-term agreement by the deadline.
On Tuesday, Slater’s colleague, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, furthered what’s become a popular refrain, that “no further talks are scheduled” as the sides are “dug in” to their respective positions.
“It can all change with a phone call. But no call is expected,” Rapoport said. “Dak bet on himself last year and it paid off. There are no questions about whether he can handle the pressure of it.”
Prescott, Cowboys Reportedly Haven’t Spoken in Months
Per Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Prescott’s agent, Todd France, and the Cowboys have not held meaningful discussions since March, presumably after the team slapped its cornerstone signal-caller with the tag.
Hill reported Monday there are “no plans for renewed talks” between the parties. This was corroborated by ESPN’s Todd Archer, who similarly reported Monday “there are no scheduled talks” and that “more urgency in getting a deal done” was expected — but not achieved.
The Cowboys’ last offer to Prescott, per Hill, was a five-year pact worth over $34 million annually and included $110 million in guarantees. So, more than what Slater reported but still less than what Dak likely will accept as QB value continues to skyrocket.
Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, fresh off his half-billion-dollar windfall, currently leads the league in average per-year salary ($45 million), followed by Seattle’s Russell Wilson ($35M), Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger ($34M), and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers ($33.5M).
It appears the Cowboys are comfortable with Prescott leapfrogging all but Mahomes and possibly Wilson. It, too, appears Prescott is content betting on himself until 2021, uninterested in anything he’d deem a lowball.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL