There is a saying that the third time is the charm, but there are also three strikes that people are generally afforded. The Dallas Cowboys are going to find out whether they are charmed or out this season with their franchise quarterback, a treacherous line to walk.
We have all spent a lot of time talking about Dak Prescott and his pending contract negotiation. 2021 marks the third straight year in which the Cowboys have negotiated with their signal-caller, but obviously things have not been able to fully materialize.
Times are rather interesting as Russell Wilson has named the Cowboys as a team that he would like to play for if the Seattle Seahawks trade him. All of these stories and narratives are going to continue to unfold as long as Dak does not have a long-term contract, perhaps that is what the Cowboys ultimately want, but while they do the clock is ticking and other people are going to potentially continue to beat them to the punch.
Since Dak first became eligible for a deal a number of quarterbacks have gotten extensions with their teams and therefore raised the market rate: Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson.
Two of those quarterbacks have since been traded and another one of them is Russell Wilson. We are in a new year which means a new crop of quarterbacks is eligible for an extension, and word is already flying about deals needing to get done for them, too.
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens reportedly haven’t talked terms yet, another deal for the Cowboys to beat
Had the Cowboys been able to beat Goff, Wentz, and/or Wilson they would have Dak Prescott under contract for somewhere around $36-$38M per year in all likelihood. Market rate dictates that Prescott will get somewhere north of $40M, and he will likely have well north of $110M guaranteed based on what these others have gotten.
It is 2021 which means that the quarterbacks taken in the 2018 NFL Draft are all eligible for contract extensions as well. The most successful of that group are Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills), Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens), and Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns), incidentally they all happened to win their first playoff games this season. Allen even won two.
There hasn’t been a ton of conversation about Allen or Mayfield’s teams working on a long-term deal for them yet, but the offseason is young. What’s more is, like Goff and Wentz compared to Prescott, all of these quarterbacks were taken in the first-round which gives them a fifth-year option.
Either way, it was reported over the weekend that the Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson haven’t had contract discussions yet. While there is still time here as noted this is more proof (as if there was a need for any) that more contracts are potentially on the way for the Cowboys to compete with.
A report from over the weekend indicated that the Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson are “far apart” in their negotiations on a second contract for the 2019 MVP. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the two sides aren’t “far apart,” because negotiations haven’t even started.
The report specifically says that the “sides” are far apart. At this point, it’s not even known what Jackson’s “side” is. He has never had an agent, and it’s not known yet whether he or someone else will be taking the lead in the discussions with the team.
Where things are a bit different for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys is that the team is also not only competing against market rate, but they are competing against the franchise tag values associated with Prescott since he was tagged last year.
The franchise tag values for the next two years are ~$92M which comes out to $46M per year. The Cowboys knew this was a possibility when they left the first tag in place with Prescott last year and now have to find a creative way to figure everything out.
Lamar Jackson (or Josh Allen or Baker Mayfield, granted they don’t have an MVP trophy on their mantle) getting a long-term deal before Dak would add yet another variable to this never-ending conversation. It has been said before and it will likely be said again.
The Dallas Cowboys are running out of time.