DALLAS — There’s a song from Drake that reminds people to "know yourself, know your worth" and those words have never rang truer than for the Dallas Cowboys in their negotiations with quarterback Dak Prescott.
As both sides are working on a new contract, a report states that Prescott and his representatives are seeking to put the quarterback’s worth behind only that of Kansas City Chiefs’ MVP and Super Bowl winning star QB Patrick Mahomes.
As a fourth-round draft pick in 2016, Prescott continues to defy the odds and not only has he become the best QB from his draft class, but Prescott has also become one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. Despite those facts, Prescott still hasn’t gotten a long-term contract from the Cowboys.
It’s been a struggle for the two sides to come together and agree to a deal as they try to find some common ground. If Prescott is indeed seeking Mahomes-type money, it might be difficult to get a long-term deal done as Mahomes is the highest paid player in the NFL.
In fairness to Prescott and his representatives, you don’t get what you don’t ask for. It makes sense to try and get the most money that they can for their client and, if they aren’t doing that, they wouldn’t be working in Prescott’s best interests.
It’s also important to note that Prescott isn’t seeking near the same value as Mahomes in terms of total money, or in years. Prescott didn’t want to take a five-year deal last offseason, he surely doesn’t want to accept a 10-year deal that would keep him from possibly cashing in again after the salary cap is expected to explode when the NFL’s next television deal comes through.
Prescott and his agents also aren’t asking for their quarterback to be in the ballpark of the $450 million dollar deal that Mahomes received last year.
What Prescott appears to be seeking is to come right in after Mahomes in terms of average annual salary (AAS). Mahomes averages $45 million per season and Prescott is aiming to be slotted behind the QB that many consider to be the best in the game.
If that happened, Prescott would be surpassing Houston Texans’ disgruntled quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is currently second on the AAS list at $39 million per year, as well as Seattle Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson, who makes $35 million annually. If Prescott wanted to fit in after Mahomes, he’s seeking somewhere between $40-$44 million a year.
A debate can be had over whether Prescott is worth that much money, especially when trying to come back from a major injury, but it’s not an unreasonable request.
Consider that Prescott would be playing on the franchise tag in 2021 without a deal, which comes at a cost of over $37 million, putting him third on the AAS list to begin with. That’s not far off from Watson’s money and getting over that $39 million threshold isn’t a big gap.
The Cowboys will be paying Prescott nearly his ask, regardless, if they can’t agree on an extension and elect to use the franchise tag once again.
It’s also important to note that the average annual salary is somewhat of a meaningless number. The more important number in NFL contracts for players is the guarantee, as that is the actual amount that the team is on the hook for regardless of future events.
So, while the $40+ million a year might shock the eyes, it’s much more important to Prescott that he get a higher amount of guaranteed dollars in a deal.
Prescott might not be the second best quarterback in the league, but this is the price of business for signing top-tier quarterbacks. The money never goes down, it always goes up.
It’s a lesson the Cowboys have failed to learn over the last two years and now they are staring down the possibility of paying Dak Prescott over $40 million a season. The saga continues.
Do you think Dak Prescott is worth the kind of deal that he’s allegedly asking for? Share your thoughts and opinions on the QB situation with Ben on Twitter @BenGrimaldi.