In an NFL offseason that is expected to be dominated by a quarterback carousel, one name that doesn't always make its way into discussions is Dak Prescott.
The quarterback is a free agent in 2021 even if it doesn't quite feel like it. The years of back-and-forth between Dallas and Prescott on a long-term deal make it seem like the most likely spot for the quarterback to land. In addition, Dallas still has the option to franchise tag the passer for the upcoming season if a deal cannot get done before the March 9 deadline.
The most likely scenario is that one way or another Prescott is a Cowboy for at least one more season. However, let's have a little fun and envision a world where that isn't the case. Dallas decides they don't want to spend $37.7 million to tag Prescott and a multi-year deal isn't the answer either. There are concerns about how he recovers after a serious injury in 2020, and if a deal really can't be agreed upon, maybe a sign-and-trade is the best option. This is Jerry Jones we're talking about, so nothing is out of the question.
If that were to become the case, plenty of other teams would drop in. Prescott has proven that he is an elite quarterback option when healthy and those don't come around too often, especially as a free agent. Yet while many may pursue him, who would be the best fit?
Here's a look at 5 potential landing spots if Prescott and Dallas don't work something out:
Washington Football Team
If Prescott enters the market Washington should not hesitate to go get him. His playmaking ability immediately takes the offense to a new level and he'd be the best quarterback to set foot on the field for the team in a very long time.
For those who think the potential for a mega-contract is concerning financially, that really shouldn't be an issue. Quarterback is a position that needs to be secure, and to win championships it needs to be elite. So even if Prescott is expensive, he's worth getting.
Need more convincing? Think about how much it would cost the team to bring in the likes of Deshaun Watson, another elite option that would fit in Washington. Draft capital and players would need to go in return, and while that's a lot, it's worth it. So if the scenario was a sign-and-trade with the Cowboys, there's no reason Washington still shouldn't be involved.
Everyone wants Washington to upgrade at quarterback, and Prescott would be all that and more. It's a no-brainer move for Washington. As for Prescott, it could be enticing as well.
Washington certainly has young talent and a growing culture under Ron Rivera. Those are both great selling points for Dak Prescott. Sure he was the quarterback of "America's Team," but in Washington, he has a chance to be the quarterback of a franchise that is about to enter a whole new era. He can be the face of change. Working with Terry McLaurin would be great, too.
Also, wouldn't it be nice to get to stick it to the team that didn't want to pay you twice a year?
New GM Scott Fitterer has already explained that Carolina is going to be aggressive this offseason in filling holes. He wants to be involved in deals and trades. Well getting Dak Prescott would certainly fit with that plan.
Teddy Bridgewater came to the Panthers with both sides hoping he was the long-term solution after Cam Newton. There were some bright spots in 2020, but that wasn't really the case. Matt Rhule and the offense could use a better option to grow, which is why going after Watson or drafting a QB with the No. 8 pick isn't out of the question.
If Prescott were to become available, he'd surely be an attractive option for Carolina to build around. The quarterback would also get to join an offense that features D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson and Christian McCaffrey.
New York Jets
In desperate need of help at quarterback and unsure if the current option is the way to go? Check. Toward the top of the league in cap space and willing to splurge on a big-ticket item to try turn things around? Check.
The Jets are easily a team that would get involved in the Prescott sweepstakes. Even if some in the building like Darnold, it would be hard to pass up this option simply hoping that the other quarterback finally puts it all together. In a sign-and-trade scenario, Dallas could send Prescott away and at least come back with a young option that could benefit from a change of scenery.
One question here is if Prescott would sacrifice a situation for money if he were to become a free agent. New York is beginning a new rebuild with a new coach, and unless it spends more money in free agency or really hits in the draft, it will still be lacking offensive weapons around Prescott.
Washington is more win-now ready, as are other options that will be on the list, so it just depends on if Prescott is confident that he can get everything he's looking for with the Jets.
For years now it has felt like the Bears are truly just a quarterback away from being a contending team. The defense has had a few elite seasons, but a dwindling offense has stunted any chance at real success.
Entering this offseason, Chicago is once again in search of someone new under center as Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles didn't do the trick. Again, Prescott's skill and upside would be exactly what the Bears are looking for in their next passer. Maybe bringing in Prescott is enough to convince Allen Robinson to stick around, too.
General manager Ryan Pace has also shown that he's not afraid to go all-in to get what he needs (See: trading up for Trubisky and sending the farm for Khalil Mack). If Prescott is there, the Bears aren't going to ignore it.
The only real hiccup for Chicago could come in the form of a sign-and-trade. With the team having already surrendered so much of its draft capital in recent years -- and not having an enticing quarterback to send back -- the Bears would have to get very creative in order to create a package that attracts Dallas.
Las Vegas Raiders
Unlike the other teams on this list, Las Vegas isn't as desperate for a new quarterback. Derek Carr is a solid option and the other four teams would probably be happy to have him. However, reports have stated that the Raiders are open to deals if it were to mean a top-of-the-line option was available. That, of course, means Watson or Russell Wilson.
Yet, if Prescott were to hit the market, Jon Gruden could decide that the best decision for the future is to ditch Carr and let Prescott be the king of the offense. There is more upside and consistency there.
Of course, the Cowboys get back a more-than-formidable option in Carr, who should have no problem performing in an offense that has a lot of receiving talent.
When it comes to Gruden and Las Vegas, nothing should be ruled out.