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.
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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