NFL Execs Explain Why Dak Prescott Doesn’t Deserve Top QB Money: Report

Dak Prescott

Getty Dak Prescott.

NFL Network’s resident Dallas Cowboys insider, Jane Slater, recently touched base with various “league personnel” such as “GMs, coaches, guys making the decision” and was “shocked at some of the feedback” regarding impending free-agent quarterback Dak Prescott’s purported contract desires.

“They consider him more in the echelon of the top 6 to 10 quarterbacks,” Slater reported Friday on NFL Network’s Total Access. “They don’t think that he should be getting paid an [average per year] close to Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson. And the argument for that is he’s 1-and-2 in the postseason. Yes, he’s got an incredible [regular-season] win-and-loss record with the Dallas Cowboys, but it really is the lack of postseason success that leads a lot of them to feel this way.”

Slater caused a hullaballoo earlier this week by reporting that Prescott is seeking to become the sport’s second-highest-paid QB behind Mahomes, who averages $45 million per year as part of his record-shattering $503 million extension. The current No. 2 in annual salary is Watson, who earns $39 million per year on his $156 million deal.

In other words, Prescott — despite his staggering playoff inexperience and recovery from a devastating ankle injury — could play hardball for a potential four-year, $160 million agreement, the majority of which is guaranteed.

“Last year’s [offer to Prescott] was in the ballpark of Russell Wilson/Jared Goff-type money. Now he’s looking to be paid right behind Patrick Mahomes, a guy who’s gone to the Super Bowl two years in a row. Dak hasn’t done that yet,” Slater said Monday on the Dan Patrick Show. “[The Cowboys] feel like it’s been a respectable offer. His camp believes that he needs to bear what the market value is. They feel like this deal should have gotten done two years ago, so ‘Your problems with money aren’t our problems, it’s about respect.’”

The Cowboys have until March 9 to apply the $37.7 million exclusive franchise tag to Prescott, who’s scheduled to shop his wares when the NFL’s legal tampering window opens March 15. If tagged, as is the current expectation, the drop-dead deadline for the sides to reach a long-term agreement would be July 15.

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Would-Be Hot Commodity

The top unsigned player this offseason at any position, Prescott may not land Mahomes money on a multi-year contract, but he’d have several suitors willing to break the bank if Dallas improbably allows him to reach unrestricted free agency.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Friday that Prescott “is not going anywhere” with the Cowboys likely to use the tag if negotiations fail to materialize prior to March 9.

But assuming he hits the open market, “There is going to be a buyer,” Slater affirmed Friday on Total Access. “We saw that with the Vikings and Kirk Cousins. We of course saw that with the Texans and Brock Osweiler. But as it was explained to me by one GM, I think some teams are getting a little bit smarter about making that type of decision, although I was also told teams are really good about talking themselves into players like Dak.”

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL