Eagles

Dak Prescott really wants to be the NFL's highest-paid player

Dak Prescott really wants to be the NFL's highest-paid player

Dak Prescott is a good, young quarterback. Like most good, young quarterbacks with a few productive years under their belt, Prescott is looking for his first big pay day. 

But according to a report from the Dallas Star-Telegram, Prescott isn't just looking to get paid: he's looking to become the highest-paid player in the NFL.

Yes, seriously.

Prescott, who will turn 27 before the 2020 NFL season begins, has played for the Cowboys for four seasons. According to the Star-Telegram, he decided that his play through four seasons - 65.8% completion, 97 touchdowns, 36 interceptions, 7.6 yards per attempt - was worth more than $33 million per year:

"The two sides came close to deal in September on a contract that would have paid him roughly $33 million annually, sources said, before talks broke down when Prescott upped his asking price."

Those are very solid numbers, but that's an extremely bold valuation of his own worth from the young gunslinger.

And then there's this bomb from the Star-Telegram story:

"According to sources, Prescott is looking for a deal that would pay him as much or more than Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who is the league’s highest-paid player at $35 million annually. The rest of the top five consists of four other quarterbacks — Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger at $34 million, Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff and Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers at $33.5 million and Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz at $32 million."

Insert the Russell Westbrook "Ah, that's very interesting!" GIF right about... now.

Here's the thing about Prescott's request: he hasn't been on a Super Bowl team, which is kind of a big deal. Wilson has a ring, as do Rodgers and Wentz, albeit with an asterisk on Wentz's. Roethlisberger has two. Goff at least reached the Big Game.

Prescott? He's 1-2 in three playoff games over four years. He's played well in those games, but his postseason success should pretty clearly stop the "highest-paid player in the league" discussion in its tracks.

Prescott also plays alongside the highest-paid running back in the league in Ezekiel Elliott, a bona fide star. Elliott counts for $10.9 million against the cap in 2020, $13.7 million in 2021, and at least $15 million in 2022 and 2023. The earliest Dallas can back out of Elliott's contract without incurring a huge dead cap figure is after 2023, when they cut him loose and eat $2.6 million with a pre-June 1 cut.

The thing about the NFL is, there's only so much money to go around, and your team is pretty dang large. If the Cowboys eventually cave to Prescott's request and pay him $35 million annually, they'll have between $45 million and $50 million tied up in two players for the next few years. For Dallas, that's not ideal. (For the Eagles? Yep, that's just fine!)

Of course, as the Star-Telegram story points out, even if Prescott somehow massages the Cowboys' front office into paying him $35 million per year, his contract will likely be eclipsed by recent Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes' impending extension. 

If Prescott wants to match *that* deal? Well, good luck, bud.

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Jason Kelce egregiously snubbed by NFL's all-decade voters

Jason Kelce egregiously snubbed by NFL's all-decade voters

Jason Kelce was the best center in the NFL over the last decade and no fraud all-decade team is going to change that.

The NFL on Monday announced its team of the decade, and it was good to see LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles, Fletcher Cox and Jason Peters named. All are deserving.

But the absence of Kelce is egregious. 

Not surprisingly, the same people who haven’t figured out that Eric Allen was one of the greatest cornerbacks to ever play the game — the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters — are the same people who have decided that Kelce wasn’t one of the two best centers in the NFL from 2010 through 2019.

Alex Mack and Maurkice Pouncey were the centers named to the team of the decade, and guess what.

Kelce has made first-team all-pro more than both of them combined.

Kelce three times, Pouncey twice, Mack zip.

Pouncey deserves one of the two slots. He’s made eight Pro Bowls with the Steelers and played on six playoff teams and a Super Bowl loser. Hell of a career.

Mack? Ask any defensive tackle in the NFL if he’d rather face Kelce or Alex Mack. 

Mack’s been a really good player, and he does have more Pro Bowls than Kelce. But he was a 1st-round pick, and those guys tend to make Pro Bowls much earlier than 6th-round picks like Kelce. 

Kelce didn’t make his first Pro Bowl until his fourth season, and he was absurdly snubbed in the Pro Bowl voting in 2017 and 2018, when he was the best center in football, made first-team all-pro both times and didn’t get picked to the Pro Bowl team.

Kelce is the only active player in the NFL that’s had two all-pro seasons in which he didn’t make the Pro Bowl and one of only six in history.

It’s tough making up ground when you’re a 6th-round pick. You come into the league with no hype, and unless you see the guy play every Sunday you can’t imagine he’s really that good.

The rest of the country finally realized in 2017 what we already knew. Kelce guy is a beast. It took way too long. And judging by this NFL all-decade team people still haven’t figured out how good he is.

Kelce has added a dimension of athleticism to the center position that may be unprecedented. What he lacks in size and strength he makes up for in determination, intelligence and leverage. 

Kelce is one of six centers in NFL history to make first-team all-pro three straight years, the only one to do it in the last 20 years. All the others are Hall of Famers.

He’s also one of only seven centers in NFL history to be named all-pro three times AND to win a Super Bowl or NFL Championship. He’s the only one to do it in the last 35 years.

Kelce did make the Pro Football Writers Association all-decade team, so at least somebody got it right.

The thing that’s really disturbing is that Kelce is building a Hall of Fame resume, and the people that snubbed him for this honor could very well do the same when he’s in the Hall of Fame conversation. All-decade teams are one of the leading criteria Hall of Fame voters cite when justifying their picks.

All I know is Kelce is one of the smartest, toughest guys I’ve ever seen. He’s played through injuries that would have ended most guys’ seasons and some guys’ careers.

And he’s done it at a consistently high level since beating out Jamaal Jackson for the starting job in the summer of 2011.

Kelce probably doesn’t give a darn about all this. He’s never been one to take individual honors seriously. That’s not why he plays the game. 

He plays the game for moments like Feb. 4, 2018, and that’s something that none of the so-called experts can ever take away.

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NFL to reverse controversial pass interference rule for 2020 season: report

NFL to reverse controversial pass interference rule for 2020 season: report

After a one-year flirtation with pass interference challenges didn't really solve anything, the NFL is expected to end the experiment.

Pass interference replay "almost certainly will not be extended", according to a report Monday from NFL.com's Judy Battista:

This isn't terribly surprising. The rule was put in place largely because Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints complained very loudly after an enormous missed call in the 2018-19 postseason.

That crucial uncalled pass interference, you might recall, was committed by new Eagles cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman:

The 2019 regular season allowed coaches to challenge pass interference calls, either called or uncalled, but the results were a mixture of underwhelming and frustrating.

Eagles fans probably remember this very obvious Avonte Maddox pass interference that wasn't called, was challenged by Packers coach Matt LaFleur, and then still wasn't called:

That was insane.

"The cumulative effect of the misses, plus the replay spotlight on these misses, has really taken its toll," former NFL ref and current NBC rules analyst Terry McAulay told the New York Times last November.

The line for what constitutes pass interference was shown - as football watchers already knew - to be an indistinct and ever-moving line, and the ability to challenge the calls just created one more layer of aggrivation.

If the league does indeed remove the rule, it will be a victory. Fans, players, and coaches will still yell about missed pass interference calls - but at least they won't have to do it twice.

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