Report: Ezekiel Elliott wants to leapfrog Todd Gurley’s deal

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Last year, the Rams gave running back Todd Gurley a contract that the Rams now surely regret. This year, running back Ezekiel Elliott wants even more from the Cowboys.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reports that Elliott hopes to surpass the four-year, $57.5 million extension given to Gurley. (That’s a new-money average of $14.375 million per year.) It’s unclear whether the Cowboys are willing to go there, especially if Elliott is looking for the same kind of structure, with Gurley having $34.5 million fully guaranteed by March 2019 and the Rams facing a decision on whether to fully guarantee Gurley another $10.5 million by March 2020. Also, most of Gurley’s fully guaranteed money is not subject to offset language.

It’s also unclear whether and to what extent the two sides are making progress. The indications continue to be that COO Stephen Jones, who dubbed Elliott earlier this year “the straw, if you will, that stirs our drink,” is handling these talks on his own, with no one below him in the organization involved or even aware of what’s going on.

Later today, we’ll all be aware as to whether Jones and Elliott’s agent, Rocky Arceneaux, have made enough progress to get Elliott to show up for training camp in California. He already missed the team flight from Dallas, which surely wasn’t accidental or inadvertent. The question now is whether the Cowboys do or say enough to get Elliott to make the trip on his own to Oxnard.

Given that it’s much easier under the CBA to hold out than to show up and leave, Elliott shouldn’t show up until he gets it in a written document signed at the bottom by Jerral Wayne Jones.

57 responses to “Report: Ezekiel Elliott wants to leapfrog Todd Gurley’s deal

  1. I would rather pay a dominant running back 15 million/yr rather than a dominant WR 20 million/yr.
    Zeke: 20 rushes/gm 4.7 yds/rush; 9 receptions/gm 8.9 yds/rec
    AB: 7 receptions/gm; 12.5 yds/rec
    Zeke 29 impact plays/gm; AB 7 impact plays/gm

  2. If he doesn’t show up by August 6th then he better be prepared to sit out the season because at that point he loses a year towards free agency and the cowboys control his fate for 2 more years.

    On the plus side, if Zeke isn’t there Dak is going to get destroyed.

    I hope they do give him a Gurley contract because it will hamstring the Cowboys for years.

  3. While I understand why zeke wants his money and who can blame him from a pure football and cap standpoint no NFL team can or should justify spending so much on one player at a position that is so easily filled. I watched the chiefs for a decade of more pay the so called best rbs in the league millions only to see them all get hurt or in trouble and be replaced by new rb that put up the same production. We sent Hunt packing last year and easily replaced his production. Zeke is a great rb unfortunately that is practically meaningless in today’s wide open sling the ball 50 times a game NFL. The cowboys would be smart to just wait him out or replace him with a younger cheaper option who will probably be just as productive…

  4. I hope for cowboys fan’s sake they don’t give him that kind of deal. No running back is worth that much. The difference between the absolute best back and a 3rd round pick is nothing compared to the difference over $10million per year can make elsewhere on your roster.

  5. The comparison to Gurley could actually hurt Elliott’s progress. Gurley got his deal. Then, in the next year, he was a non-factor in the Rams’ playoff run. And now, he may be an expensive non-factor during the regular season.

    I remember once the Cowboys terminated someone who’d had the energy bug, with the comment, “We’ve paid the guy $4 million for four plays.” Somehow, the Gurley reference might remind them of that situation and actually cause them to not cave to Elliott’s demands.

  6. The August 6 thing is overblown. Aaron Donald held out beyond the 30-day window in 2017 and 2018. The holdout is about getting a contract not becoming a free agent.

  7. Zeke being absent isn’t news until the team has it’s first practice today. If he took a getaway to Cabo, it’s pretty easy to get from there to camp instead of flying back to Dallas, just to fly on the charter.
    Stephen handles all of the contracts and has for years. Daddy may be the final signature, but player contracts are Stephen’s gig. There’s no reason for anyone other than Stephen to know what’s going on. (I’m sure JJ, McClay and Garrett are given regular updates) The more people publicly talking, the more stuff gets screwed up.
    Let’s tap the brakes and see how today unfolds before we create more drama…

  8. gjv001 says:

    July 26, 2019 at 7:14 am

    The Cowboys need to pay Elliott. He is the most important part of their offense.

    When the running back is more important than the QB you know team ain’t winning anything

  9. I understand Zeke’s stance but also believe he’d be better off long term not holding out. The Jone’s had his back thru his mis-steps and trial, even letting him use J. Jones Jet. Fact is, he left the Cowboys in a bad state getting his suspension ban mid season. I believe he’d be better off telling the Jone’s I’ll be there for camp if i have your word on a new deal coming. I’m not really even sure what the motivation would be for the Jone’s at this point, given he still has 2 years remaining on his contract. Helllloooo Zeke, your under contract and one that you signed. Its not like you are in that lame duck year. I think your getting poor advice Zeke. Your “reputation” needs work with all your mis-steps and this certainly does not bolster it. Stay humble, show up to work and let thing play out is what i’d recommend.

  10. The reason Zeke is so valuable is because Dak is not a franchise QB. Without Zeke, Dak can’t carry the offense.

  11. I’d have language in the contract to stop with the asinine “feed me” gesture after every play.

  12. Seriously… everyone always want to complain about “greedy” players. Seriously? Take a look at Jerry Jones’ and all other owners’ bank statements. That $8 hotdog that you buy at the stadium. Those $25k season ticket seats. Whose pocket do you think they go into?

    The owners do whatever they can to increase their bottom line and we’re all ok with that, but when a player, who will only be able to play the game 8-10 years if he’s lucky, does the same, we freak out.

  13. These holdouts are never good. By the time the player shows up, they end up getting hurt and there goes all that extension. Although, Elliott has not had any major injuries like Gurley. Hopefully, the Cowboys an give him an extension and all of this can be avoided. It’s to bad that the NFL doesn’t have what the NBA has with their salary cap. If an NBA team goes over the cap, then they would have to a pay a luxury tax. Jones would probably pay that all the time.

  14. The more I hear crap like this, the more I love the NHL. These guys are about as big a diva as you can imagine in a grown adult male.

  15. kennylc2015 says:
    July 26, 2019 at 8:33 am
    Seriously… everyone always want to complain about “greedy” players. Seriously? Take a look at Jerry Jones’ and all other owners’ bank statements. That $8 hotdog that you buy at the stadium. Those $25k season ticket seats. Whose pocket do you think they go into?

    The owners do whatever they can to increase their bottom line and we’re all ok with that, but when a player, who will only be able to play the game 8-10 years if he’s lucky, does the same, we freak out.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Comments like this are ridiculously stupid. Owners had that money before they bought the team. Every player’s salary has to fit into the cap every year. Every dollar one player gets means that is one dollar less that another player on the team can make. If a “star” player demands too much money and the team is dumb enough to pay it, other teammates must be cut or take a pay reduction to stay under the cap limit. It also means other free agents cannot be pursued. Owners are not in the business of making one player rich because he wants to be seen as the highest paid player at a position. Somehow players think who makes the most is the best. I wish an owner or GM would just say we will pay you x amount. If you want more than that negotiate with your teammates to lower their salaries so that you can get what you feel you deserve. Fans believe it is player vs team/evil owner but it is really player vs other players when it comes to getting a salary that has to fit in a specific cap window.

  16. myusernameissteve says:
    July 26, 2019 at 8:19 am
    I’d have language in the contract to stop with the asinine “feed me” gesture after every play.

    —————————

    EXACTLY!!!

  17. OK, so I don’t know what/who they can replace him with, but Zeke is giving the Cowboys the perfect exit. After all their posturing about how they want him and will work with him, yada,yada,yada, they sorta boxed themselves into paying him. But now he’s appearing to be the unreasonable party. They can now quietly but firmly play hardball and Zeke will lose the PR game.

    Incidentally, they put themselves in a similar box with Dak, but even more so. It will be a little more difficult to play hardball with him and still win the PR game, but I’m fairly sure Dak is capable of helping them do it. Watch Zeke and take copious notes, Dak.

  18. I hope they break the back for Dak and Zeke.
    Then go 8-8 for several years because they can’t afford other players.

  19. comparison to Gurley isn’t strong. Gurley had knee history when drafted. Zeke has been a frickin tank. WHile I usually am averse to paying RB’s, Jerrah is clearly in win now mode, as he’s acknowledged he may not have many years left, and he is all in on winning another super bowl. All that points to Zeke getting paid. He HAD to hold out, as otherwisw his fate was same as Dmarco Murray’s

  20. One is playing on one leg and the other is a major head case. Good luck to any franchise that is stuck with both of their contracts.

  21. How can the Cowboys afford to pay him? He and Dak had the luxury of being behind the unquestioned best offensive line in the game. Pee Wee Herman could probably run behind that line. The problem is the coaching staff doesn’t exploit the strength of that O-Line.

    Here’s the real problem. Do they continue to keep that line together? If so, how can they possibly pay them and Lawrence and Elliott and Dak and Cooper? They can’t. Something has to give. I think Zeke is a good RB. I wouldn’t give him that kind of money when you can just draft some guy to step in and barely miss a beat (see James Conner).

    The Cowboys have ~$24M in cap room so they could do something but at some point all these big contracts are going to catch up to them. They can’t sign all those guys.

  22. Well, my comment will be considered “stupid” if you do not understand how it works. The salary cap comes from TV revenue. The stuff like PSLs and concessions, do not go into the salary cap… that goes into team revenue. So the $8 hot dog example I used, has nothing to do with player salary. That $50 you pay for parking has nothing to do with player salary (depending on stadium deals, it will either go to the team (owner) or the city or perhaps a combo of both)

    But you are correct… the more Zeke gets, the less someone else gets. And I find that to be incredibly noble of you… you would say “well… please pay me the league minimum so that you can pay someone else max dollars.” Kind of like Tom Brady saying “hey, I’ll take a pay cut for you to sign this person” (never mind that happened after he already made $250M but that’s neither her or there.”

    Back to my initial point, when we do not know something, we usually dismiss it as “stupid.” Have a great day.

    ——
    FinFan68 says:
    July 26, 2019 at 9:12 am
    kennylc2015 says:
    July 26, 2019 at 8:33 am
    Seriously… everyone always want to complain about “greedy” players. Seriously? Take a look at Jerry Jones’ and all other owners’ bank statements. That $8 hotdog that you buy at the stadium. Those $25k season ticket seats. Whose pocket do you think they go into?

    The owners do whatever they can to increase their bottom line and we’re all ok with that, but when a player, who will only be able to play the game 8-10 years if he’s lucky, does the same, we freak out.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Comments like this are ridiculously stupid. Owners had that money before they bought the team. Every player’s salary has to fit into the cap every year. Every dollar one player gets means that is one dollar less that another player on the team can make. If a “star” player demands too much money and the team is dumb enough to pay it, other teammates must be cut or take a pay reduction to stay under the cap limit. It also means other free agents cannot be pursued. Owners are not in the business of making one player rich because he wants to be seen as the highest paid player at a position. Somehow players think who makes the most is the best. I wish an owner or GM would just say we will pay you x amount. If you want more than that negotiate with your teammates to lower their salaries so that you can get what you feel you deserve. Fans believe it is player vs team/evil owner but it is really player vs other players when it comes to getting a salary that has to fit in a specific cap window.

  23. FinFan68 says: “I wish an owner or GM would just say we will pay you x amount. If you want more than that negotiate with your teammates to lower their salaries so that you can get what you feel you deserve. Fans believe it is player vs team/evil owner but it is really player vs other players when it comes to getting a salary that has to fit in a specific cap window.”
    ————————

    Comments like this are ridiculously stupid. There is no “evil” player OR owner.

    A player’s first priority is to maximize his earning potential. It’s not my job to figure out what my colleagues should be getting paid – I determine my own contract and that’s all I care about.

  24. Replacing running backs in the NFL isn’t hard. Every year there’s a new crop coming out of college. If I managed a team with a solid offensive line and I had a talented running back with a diva mentality who was trying to hold the franchise up, I’d get rid of the diva and find a replacement. Goodbye diva, take your cancerous and narcissistic attitude somewhere else.

  25. officialgame says:
    July 26, 2019 at 7:45 am
    They have to pay him, have you seen the Cowboys offense without him?

    ———-

    What exactly have they accomplished with him?

  26. Only way you can justify huge salaries to a RB is on a short-term deal, like a single year contract. Because not only can you pretty easily replace RB production but most guys are at their peak for such a very short span of time that by the time they get a long-term big-money deal they’re already in decline in most cases. Gurley, as an example, may never be anywhere close to the same player again.

  27. it blows me away how people complain about the rich owners. i own a business, it is a hard fact that every dollar that goes for salaries means that there are less dollars for everything else.

  28. There is no doubt that there is a very greedy side in most players. Players realize there is a time limit on their careers. They want as much money as they can get. Many are not interested in their teams salary structure to field a competitive team year after year. It’s all about my money, and my guaranteed money. So how much money does it take to be set for life? 5 million, 10 million, 20 million, 50 million. 100 million in a career! I think I’m just an average blue collar hard working man.

    I’m now retired and I figure I made around 2 million in my life. My wife made less. I’m certainly not rich. We can’t afford a lavish lifestyle, but my wife and I survive. Sure if we made another 5 million, we could live better. My point is many athletes come from poor families who have never had money. I can’t blame those athletes. but many blow their money on stupid things to show off there new wealth. They make poor investments that could leave them broke. Athletes should invest for their future well being and not blow their money. It seems the more you make, the more you think you have to make to be set up for life.

    Many athletes are trying to out do other players contract like Zeke is doing. They judge their wealth by outdoing others. When is enough, really enough. How much money do you really need? It’s just plain greed in my book!

  29. Zeke shouldn’t be holding out, I can see his point that he wants to be paid, but I think holding out is the wrong way to go . . . especially since he has 2 years left and not 1. He is scheduled to make $13 million over the next two years, after receiving rookie signing bonus money of $16.5 million. Over the course of his 5 year contract (1st rounders have option years) he will have made $33.5 million or an average of $6.7 million. That isn’t chump change and he will be in line to negotiate a much bigger contract if he can stay healthy. If he can’t stay healthy then that $33.5 million is money in the bank.

    The Cowboys currently have a lot of money tied up in there very strong offensive line, that line contributes to Zeke’s success. He doesn’t really acknowledge that and some of those contracts are in the final year, which means if they Cowboys spend their cap money on the highest paid RB, and a top 10 paid QB and WR, then there simply won’t be cap space to retain the road graders in front of Zeke and Dak. The Cowboys find themselves in the position of being a second tier team from a playoff vantage, but not having the cap space to either improve or maintain all of their talent. From my perspective this might be the last season they have the bodies in the trenches to be a playoff caliber team, assuming they give big money contracts to their 3 offensive skilled positions. I truly believe their intent was to ride Zeke for the next two years, use up as much tread as possible in his 5 year rookie contract and then transition to the backs they drafted this year. Zeke must feel similar or he wouldn’t be taking this stand.

  30. kennylc2015 says:
    July 26, 2019 at 8:33 am
    Seriously… everyone always want to complain about “greedy” players. Seriously? Take a look at Jerry Jones’ and all other owners’ bank statements. That $8 hotdog that you buy at the stadium. Those $25k season ticket seats. Whose pocket do you think they go into?

    The owners do whatever they can to increase their bottom line and we’re all ok with that, but when a player, who will only be able to play the game 8-10 years if he’s lucky, does the same, we freak out.

    ———————-

    This is irrelevant, there is a salary cap with minimum spend. The argument is about HOW you spend the cap money not IF. The money not going to zeke doesnt go to jerrys pocket, it goes to dak, cooper or whoever they choose to use it on.

    Debates about ownership vs player profit is a cba discussion and has no place in individual player contract disputes and i am so sick of most fans not getting this basic concept in really any sport

  31. kennylc2015 says:
    July 26, 2019 at 9:59 am
    Well, my comment will be considered “stupid” if you do not understand how it works. The salary cap comes from TV revenue. The stuff like PSLs and concessions, do not go into the salary cap… that goes into team revenue. So the $8 hot dog example I used, has nothing to do with player salary. That $50 you pay for parking has nothing to do with player salary (depending on stadium deals, it will either go to the team (owner) or the city or perhaps a combo of both)

    But you are correct… the more Zeke gets, the less someone else gets. And I find that to be incredibly noble of you… you would say “well… please pay me the league minimum so that you can pay someone else max dollars.” Kind of like Tom Brady saying “hey, I’ll take a pay cut for you to sign this person” (never mind that happened after he already made $250M but that’s neither her or there.”

    Back to my initial point, when we do not know something, we usually dismiss it as “stupid.” Have a great day.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The “stupid” I was referring to was when you said to check the bank accounts of the owners because it and the rest of your examples are not relevant to Zeke wanting more money than Gurley. It isn’t stupid because I don’t understand it. It is stupid because it is not relevant to the conversation at hand. The money an owner has in the bank has nothing to do with any single player or the players as a whole. Elliot wants more money, who doesn’t? But he still has two years under this contract. In the last year it is understandable for a player to want some form of security or stability but this is 2 years prior. My comment was based on the article’s subject of Zeke wanting more money than Gurley, not your admittedly irrelevant diatribe about hot dogs and ticket prices. Your comment was only about the player vs owner and all I was doing was stating that is an incorrect dynamic for the reasons I supplied. It is a simple thing: Player wants personal money and/or team-based championships. Owners want team-based championships and must factor other things to best reach that goal. For an individual contract situation it is never player vs owner in that whatever money the player doesn’t get goes into the owner’s pocket. That is an argument for CBA talks but not under the subject of the article. Either you know that and ignored it anyway or you honestly thought it was pertinent, in which case I refer you to my opening sentence. 😉

  32. Dallas won’t give him that type of contract especially with his very immature baby like behavior(being one-step from a potential year long suspension) and what he wants is not very team friendly, but one of the many moron GM’s and owners who are perennial losers will, and he can fall into oblivion like Le-Veon is about to find out with many Sunday morning games. Also, so I guess Zeke and his agent must be okay with throwing away about $30 to $40 million because Zeke is under contract for 2019 and 2020, no show no pay and in the 5th year they can go after some of his signing bonus. Then Stephen and Jerry can tag him fairly cheaply for 2021 and 2022 and could be longer if Zeke and his agent sacrifice service years, basically Zeke has very little leverage when messing with Jerry. Stephen will do a fair contract, but not a ridiculous one both Gurley and Le-Veon have shown they were easily replaced by a much cheaper option.

  33. Bobmillion, you took the words right out of my mouth. To add to your point, I think any decent RB would excel behind arguably one of, if not the best O-line in the NFL in Dallas.

  34. Has Zeke figured out that the scumbag, bad character propensity has come into play? They’ve had a litany of character issues from Gregory on. He’s now coming around with his hand out after barely escaping yet another suspension for acting like a scum bag.

    Even the Cowboys are given pause now when players show a propensity for low-rent behavior.

    Why should they make him the highest paid RB in the league when he hasn’t respected the organization, league or himself?

  35. Cowboys are doing what they need to do; Zeke doing what he should do. Personally, I would not extend him. But that’s me. Terrific talent for sure but at the wrong position. Same story will take place in two years in NY.

  36. I am a huge Cowboys fan, but DO NOT pay this guy. he is a step away from a year long suspension, cannot stay out of trouble. He has shown atrocious decision making. They also have to pay Cooper, J. Smith, Prescott, and more. He also uses the season to get himself into shape. Not worth it

  37. I hope these guys go full Chargers mode. These guys aren’t worth the big bucks when you can draft a fashionable replacement for pennies on the dollar. I don’t foresee the cowboys making this kind of prudent stand tho as they are quite clueless and just broke the bank for Lawrence who was not worth it.

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