There’s at least one Prescott now questioning his allegiance to the star.
Reacting via Twitter on Wednesday, minutes after the NFL franchise-tag deadline expired, Dak Prescott’s brother, Tad, blasted the Dallas Cowboys for failing to lock down the star quarterback to a long-term deal.
The tweet quickly gained traction as the Cowboys began trending on the popular social media platform.
As expected, the sides did not reach an agreement ahead of the 3 p.m. CT deadline, putting to bed fruitless, oft-stalled discussions, with Prescott eschewing Dallas’ last reported offer: a five-year deal worth between $33-35 million annually and including more than $100 million in guarantees.
By rejecting the proposal, the two-time Pro Bowl passer essentially chooses to bet on himself. He’ll earn a fully-guaranteed $31.4 million for the 2020 campaign, the cost of his exclusive franchise tag which he signed last month.
Prescott is the eighth QB since 1993 to receive the tag and will become just the third to play a regular-season on the one-year tender. The other two — Drew Brees in 2005 and Kirk Cousins in 2016 and 2017 — defected to new teams the following offseason, according to NFL Research.
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Prescott Reacts to Outcome
Whereas Tad uttered spit and vinegar, Dak opted for the high road. He told NFL Network’s Jane Slater after the deadline passed that he’s “grateful and blessed to be a Cowboy and working and moving forward to do whatever he can to help the team win a Super Bowl.”
Interestingly, Slater reports Prescott was “involved at the last minute” in an attempt to strike an accord with the Cowboys. But the parties, following several months of haggling, simply ran out of time.
Slater was informed the team’s offer to Prescott included a $50 million signing bonus and would have paid him $70 million for the first two seasons. The 26-year-old “disputed some of these details” before releasing his indirect statement.
Dak’s Potential Trajectory
If tagged again next offseason, he’d collect $37.7 million, a mandatory 20 percent increase, per the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Meaning he’d clear a fully-guaranteed $71 million and likely hit free agency at 28.
Even better for Prescott, the $37.7M figure will represent the absolute floor in future negotiations, especially with Deshaun Watson yet to cash in (and perhaps cross the $40M threshold, joining Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes). The Cowboys probably would need to offer at least $38 million annually on a long-term deal, assuming they intend to retain him, of course.
By 2022, when Mahomes’ $503 million megapact goes into effect, QB salaries easily could blow past $45-50 million annually, putting Prescott on a path similar to Drew Brees, who was tagged by the Chargers in 2005, signed with the Saints in 2006, and has gone on to accrue a whopping $244.7 million — $231.5 million from New Orleans, $13.1 million from then-San Diego — in career earnings, across 19 seasons.
There’s a very real chance this marks the beginning of the end of the Prescott era in the Lone Star State.
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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL