You might have heard something about the Dallas Cowboys trying to get a long-term deal done with quarterback Dak Prescott. This will mark the third offseason in a row that the two parties have done the contract dance, with this one having a finality to it. Either a long-term deal is done, or Prescott hits free agency after playing 2021 on the franchise tag.
As is usually the case, both sides tend to negotiate somewhat through the press. Stephen Jones has pressed the issue that playing for the Cowboys adds a little something extra to a player’s finances due to endorsements and the like, and he has also has pushed the “percentage of the salary cap” argument for reining in Prescott’s contract. Prescott’s side has pushed the “market rate” argument and that the Cowboys financial issues aren’t relevant.
There was recently a report that there have been tentative talks between the sides, but no real movement on a deal. So the “press” negotiations continue, the latest coming from Prescott’s camp via Jane Slater.
In an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, Slater revealed that sources in the Prescott camp think he should get a market rate deal that comes in right behind the one Patrick Mahomes got.
Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) joined us this morning to separate fact from fiction when it comes to Dak, Russell Wilson, and the #Cowboys— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) March 1, 2021
For Jane's full appearance: https://t.co/QjSvbxpNBt pic.twitter.com/DFB5KrKmPQ
Of course, things are never that simple. For instance, Mahomes received a 10-year deal that was worth $45 million a year on average, but the back-end of that deal was much larger than the front end. His total guaranteed was around $141 million with $63 million guaranteed at signing. There are so many ways of cutting up his salary that it’s hard to know which portion they want to be right behind.
But it does indicate one thing, they want a contract that is above everyone else’s, only topped by Mahomes’ deal. That means that Prescott is looking to top the deal signed by Deshaun Watson. Watson received a four-year deal worth $39 million annually with $110 million guaranteed and $73 million guaranteed at signing. If you are looking for a baseline for a Prescott contract, that is probably it.
So it seems the parameters are somewhere between $39 million a year to $45 million a year, but given Mahomes’ enormous success and willingness to sign such a long-term deal, the Prescott deal will likely look more like Watson’s deal. Probably in the $41-$42 million average per year range, with a guaranteed value of $115-$120 million, and likely for four years. That’s probably the minimum Dallas can get away with.
The Cowboys could have had Prescott on a much cheaper deal previously if they hadn’t been so stubborn on a couple of issues, mainly the length of the deal. Now, they will have to pay the piper for their intransigence.