Getting DeMarcus Lawrence signed to a long-term contract is the priority for the Cowboys. That dance is on-going and needs to come to a conclusion by the July 15th deadline. While that’s the top-line focus, there are some other contracts the team would like to re-do and the next biggest priority is taking care of their quarterback, Dak Prescott. Prescott is on the final year of his deal and the team would like to avoid a free agency/franchise tag situation with their signal-caller in the 2020 offseason.
Prescott is woefully underpaid compared to his production. His cap hit for 2019 is $2.1 millions dollars, that puts him right behind reserve linebacker Joe Thomas in terms of cap hit for the 2019 Cowboys. Yes, the man deserves a raise.
Just how much of a raise is the subject of much speculation. Bill Barnwell from ESPN took a shot at predicting what kind of extension the Cowboys may give Prescott in an article about new contracts for 11 quarterbacks.
Let’s cut right to the chase, Barnwell predicts:
What his new deal could look like: Six years, $168 million with $60 million guaranteed at signing
If that was the deal, then Dak Prescott would have the largest dollar value of any quarterback in the league. That distinction is currently held by Matt Ryan at $150 million. But Prescott’s deal would be for six years so his per year average would be 28 million, far less than the $33.5 million per year average of Aaron Rodgers’ deal and less than Ryan’s $30 million per year.
For comparison, our own DannyPhantom made a Prescott prediction back on Feb 12th that was similar in annual average but a year short in length.
DannyPhantom: PREDICTION: Five-year, $142.5 million (average = $28.5 million), $20 million signing bonus
Barnwell’s prediction only has $60 million guaranteed which would be far less than many of the more recent contracts signed by quarterbacks. Ryan got $100 million guaranteed and Kirk Cousins famously got his full contract of $84 million guaranteed.
Here is Barnwell’s rationale for his prediction.
Given the way the Cowboys structure their deals, Prescott isn’t likely to break the NFL record for average annual salary, especially if [Russell] Wilson pushes that figure upward. It seems more likely that he’ll set a new mark for most dollars in an NFL deal, which this contract considers. Prescott’s $168 million figure would top the $150 million [Matt] Ryan got from the Falcons or the $155 million [Jared] Goff would pick up from the Rams in the deal I mentioned above, although none of those figures are guaranteed.
The Cowboys do like to give their stars long-term deals which have huge total values but also keep the players in the fold for more years. See Tyron Smith or Travis Fredrick. Barnwell’s structure would keep Prescott’s base salary of $2 millions for 2019 then start the ballooning in 2020.
The Cowboys also would guarantee an $18 million base salary for 2020 to get to $60 million in guarantees, although they will almost surely turn most of that base salary into a signing bonus to create cap space next season.
The Cowboys have a ton of cap space next season, but they still need to accommodate contracts/extensions for DeMarcus Lawrence, Amari Cooper, Jaylon Smith, likely Ezekiel Elliott and possibly Byron Jones.
Barnwell’s article also picks up Carson Wentz as one of the other quarterbacks that will receive a contract extension soon. He predicts:
What his new deal could look like: Five years, $146 million with $50 million guaranteed at signing
That’s a $29.2 million per year average, slightly more than Prescott’s $28 million but less overall value and $10 million less guaranteed.
In the Prescott versus Wentz battle, we’d just like to bring back this graphic from a previous Barnwell article. In the graphic, Player B is Wentz.
Those numbers don’t include Prescott’s massive edge in rushing stats and the fact that he stays healthy for every game. Just sayin’.