Making sense of the latest Dak Prescott reports

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On Monday, the Dak Prescott negotiations eclipsed the Ezekiel Elliott talks, even though Prescott is in camp and Elliott isn’t.

Prescott’s negotiations took center stage because, whereas there are no numbers published regarding Elliott’s negotiations, NFL Media (wholly owned by the NFL and thus partially owned by the Cowboys) reported that Prescott has rejected $30 million per year and wants $40 million per year.

The last half of that report was, frankly, #fakenews. PFT and others (including ESPN’s Chris Mortensen) reported that Prescott has never asked for $40 million per year.

So why did that get reported? Assuming the Cowboys leaked the figure to the media company it partially owns, it looks like the Cowboys may be trying to make Prescott look greedy and unreasonable, a risky move that could diminish Prescott in the eyes of the fans of America’s Team. It also could strengthen Prescott’s resolve to get what he wants, and it necessary to go year-to-year under the franchise tag, eventually securing his freedom to go wherever he chooses.

If true, it’s stunning that the Cowboys would feel compelled to take such an aggressive approach, but perhaps the Cowboys are getting exasperated by their failure to finalize a new contract with any of three key offensive players who are resisting the notion that simply being a Cowboy carries inherent value that should make them willing to accept whatever the Cowboys are offering.

The report that Prescott has declined $30 million per year sheds light on the actual quality of the offer that the team has made. Although this number necessarily omits key factors like guarantee and structure, it undoubtedly refers to a new-money figure. If the rejected offer averages $30 million per year in new-money average on a four-year extension, this translates (given Prescott’s $2 million salary in 2019) to a total value at signing of $24.4 million per year, over five years.

Last year, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract. If Prescott is worthy of that deal (and, given his accomplishments relative to Garoppolo’s, Prescott is), giving him that deal right now would translate to a new money average of $33.8 million per year.

Coincidentally, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram previously pegged Prescott’s demands in the $34 million range. There’s no way the number became inflated in two months by $6 million per year, and there’s every reason to regard Monday’s report as evidence that the Cowboys may be feeling like they’re on the ropes in these negotiations.

If that’s the case, the message to the players who are trying to maximize the compensation for their skills, abilities, and sacrifices is clear: Keep punching.

20 responses to “Making sense of the latest Dak Prescott reports

  1. Stop using that shady accounting BS. He’s under contract for 2 million for 2019.

    A 4-year extension that averages $30 million per year for 4 years is exactly that: a 4 year extension that averages $30 million per year.

    Stop trying to lump the existing year into it in order to paint the average as a lower number. The existing year that he’s already under contract for is irrelevant.

  2. It’s comical to think Dak wants that amount of money. He’s a mid level QB that is 100% dependent on their RB. He’s starting to sound like another egotistical professional athlete that wants more money than their play deserves.

  3. Why? Contracts are pretty simple to understand. Unfortunately, there are too many people that don’t understand them. If one of those people leaks, viola!

  4. 1) they’re not America’s team unless we want to start calling America an average country w the inability to get anything done. (I guess trump may perpetuate that notion but alas, I digress…2) this team gets more & more clueless with every passing moment and that cracks me up 3)someone needs to let Dakota know he’s not even a top 10 QB- Ryan, Brady, Brees, Newton, wentz, rivers, mayfield, Roethlisberger, Foles, cousins, rodgers, Stafford, Watson, luck, Wilson, Goff, Mahomes..that’s 17 QB that’s better and I would also take Murray, jimmy G, darnold over this guy

  5. Don’t be so sure it was the Cowboys who leaked the $40M number.

    If Dak really wants $34M, why not “deny” a report that he wants $40M as a way of setting the ceiling at $40M.

    “$40M? Of course I did not request $40M. In fact, I deny ever asking for $40M.” All of a sudden, we are all associating Dak with the number $40M.

  6. Jimmy G’s contract was front loaded, year 1 cap hit was 37 million, this year the cap hit is 19.3 million. For the remaining three years his cap hit is between 26 – 27 million a year. So, 40 million a year for Dak seems bogus.

  7. 30m sounds a bit much, 35m is crazy, 40m is downright ridiculous. 25m would be a more reasonable number, but QBs these days are worth 30+ million, even if you are a bit above average like Dak.

  8. Prescott should take a below market deal to allow the Cowboys to sign better team mates. If he takes a lower 20-25 mil average, then the Cowboys should guarantee a higher than usual portion of it. Something like 4 new years, 100 mil in new money with 50 mil paid up front as signing bonus. That raises his cap number by 10 mil for this year, leaving room for Elliott and Cooper, while shifting the injury risk to the team if Prescott has a career ending injury this season. Then he can sign another extension before he’s 30 and he’s well on his way to 200 mil+ in career earnings while being praised for his leadership and team first attitude.

  9. I would not give Dak 10 million a year. He is nothing without all that talent around him. Nothing. Everyone can see that except Dak.

  10. Say what you want, but at least the guy is in camp rather than hanging out on the beach in Mexico.

  11. The Cowboys shouldn’t be forced to overpay a mediocre quarterback just because the 49ers were foolish.

  12. Some poster saying Foles and Cousins are better. LOL. Get a clue.

    The market is what it is. I agree the number thrown out there by Dak’s camp wasn’t $40 million, but wouldn’t suprise me to have them start in the $36m+ range for negotiation. Best guess? He signs for average of $34 mil. It’s not what he deserves; it is what the market will bear.

    And yes, AMERICA’S TEAM through and through.

  13. One day, PFT will wake up and remember that when players push for extra money (not just fair-market money), it makes their teams worse by leaving less cap space to round out the team. This isn’t about evil teams trying to rob players of hard-earned money; it’s about limited cap space and so not wanting to overpay players. But, as usual, PFT is heavily pro-player.

  14. Everyone knows how starting QBs get paid now. It is what it is and he’s next up. Is he the best QB in the NFL? No but you either pay the man or go back to QB purgatory with Qb’s like Quincy Carter and Chad Hutchinson.

  15. Carson Wentz is averging $32M per year and Dak’s stats (and availability) are better. Why wouldn’t Dak want more than $32M per year? The only way the Cowboys get a discount is if they do 100% guaranteed. That wouldn’t be too hard to fathom – Dak gets 4 years, $29/year fully guaranteed.

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