If this story seems familiar … well, it should.
This year, before Prescott potentially gets tagged a second time, Cousins is parroting his advice to the rehabbing star signal-caller, who remains “in a really good spot.”
“Well, the only piece I’ve said to him in crossing his path by going back maybe a couple of offseasons was just to make the point that the franchise tag can be your friend; it can be a help to you if that’s the route you choose to go,” Cousins told Pro Football Talk last week. “So, he played on the franchise tag this past year. I think he’s in a great spot now. Everybody knows he can play, and he’s an elite quarterback. Really, the ball is more in the court of the Cowboys and what they want to do going forward. But I think it’s a no-brainer that Dak’s the real deal and is going to have a great career moving forward. He’s in a really good spot.”
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Cousins’ Contract History
Before arriving to Minnesota, Cousins was stuck in financial purgatory in Washington, tagged in 2016, and again in 2017, before finally reaching the open market. His short-term setbacks ultimately paid off in the form of long-term wealth.
He broke the mold in 2018 by landing a fully-guaranteed three-year, $84 million deal from the Vikings, earning an annual salary of $28 million while preserving another bite at the apple in his prime. That bite came early — in March 2020, when Cousins signed a two-year, $66 million extension, which included a $30 million signing bonus.
“Sometimes it doesn’t happen as quickly as you would like, but if you deserve it, and you’ve earned it, it’s going to happen,” Cousins relayed to Prescott last year. “So you’ve just got to stay the course and stay patient. Certainly in my journey, it all worked out. I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.”
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Latest on Dak
Conflicting reports recently emerged on the two-time Pro Bowler, who’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 17, when the new league year officially begins.
NFL Network intimated the Cowboys and Prescott are working toward a long-term deal while ESPN’s Adam Schefter cautioned that talks between the sides “still are not close” to materializing before March 9, the deadline to apply the franchise tag.
Dallas attempted, and failed, to lock down Prescott in 2020, offering the former fourth-round pick an extension worth approximately $34.5 million annually and $110 million in guarantees. Prescott rejected the proposal, opting instead to play the season on his $31.4 million franchise tender.
Three options remain for the parties in the days ahead: strike a multi-year agreement, resort to the $37.7 million tag for 2021, or, most improbably, execute a tag-and-trade involving an outside suitor.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL