Dak Prescott Contract Talks: How Patrick Mahomes’ Historical Pay Affects Cowboys Negotiations


Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs have done Dak Prescott a little bit of a service. The problem for Prescott is that, in the same breath, the reigning Super Bowl MVP also gave the Dallas Cowboys scoreboard material in their contract talks with their franchise quarterback, which could all make the conversation much more interesting as both parties return. to elaborate details on a possible long-term extension. Prescott signed a franchise tag at the end of June that will guarantee him a salary of $ 31.5 million in 2020 and ensures that he will be on the field for the Cowboys this season even without new agreement, but the team desperately wants to secure it for the future before the July 15 NFL deadline.

With just over a week before the bell rings in Dallas, Mahomes got a monstrous 10-year extension that locks him up with the Chiefs for a total of 12 years with a maximum payment of $ 503 million. the highest paid athlete in sport history.

Spoiler alert: It’s not going to happen in Dallas.

Truth be told, the Cowboys probably wouldn’t mind the duration of such a deal, since they originally offered Prescott a seven-year contract when talks began in 2019 – sources confirmed to CBS Sports in February – indirect attempt to marry the duration of his contract with that of the ball carrier Ezekiel Elliott. Unlike his Kansas City counterpart, however, Prescott would have none, and instead counter-proposed a three-year proposal that would allow him to negotiate another agreement over the next two years under new collective bargaining. . agreement; and in a future landscape that includes new television contracts and gaming revenues creating a mushroom effect on the salary cap.

More than a year later, both parties have compromised, but there is still a minor gap between where they are and where they need to be to get the deal done. Prescott is now closed at four years old as the Cowboys have reduced their demand to just five years, with the club’s latest offering averaging $ 35 million per year (maximum value of $ 175 million) at around $ 105 million. dollars in guaranteed money, although the Cowboys are prepared to exceed $ 110 million in guarantees if they can get Prescott to accept the fifth year.

And, for the record, sources told CBS Sports a few weeks ago that Prescott had never asked for $ 45 million in the fifth year, with talks remaining progressive and unchallenged.

That said, Mahomes should expect a case of Prescott’s ketchup soon – as a thank you – because the structure of the contract on the former helps the latter to justify granting a little more money. No one with a sane mind expects Prescott to exceed Mahomes’ figures in any way, but it should be mentioned that the first five years of new funds on the historic deal push things a bit further. north for Prescott. You see, any agreement signed by Prescott is 100% new money, while the first two years of Frankenstein de Mahomes’ 12 year contract are existing money, so what you will want to focus on to compare the two is the average payment from 2022 to 2026.

Why five years instead of four? Easy. That’s because the Cowboys want five and if Prescott agrees, he’ll want to take the average of Mahomes’ first five years of new money and put the figure on the table – $ 39.55 million . What this does for Prescott is give him a way to ask for a little more per year than the current offer, now that the market has been savagely reset, which could push his average annual salary to around $ 38 million. dollars, if not a little more. .

The Cowboys should consent to it for two reasons.

The first is fairly straightforward, because if Prescott plays on the current franchise label and has to play for less than a second in 2021, his salary for next season – in the absence of an agreement at that time – would go up over $ 37 million. So somehow, unless they lose Prescott (which they are absolutely not going to do), they face, at a minimum, a payment of $ 37 million in 2021. It makes perfect sense for Prescott to use Mahomes’ top five – new funds averaging $ 39.55 million over the year, because the new cap he knows he won’t get and the floor at 37 millions of dollars he knows he will likely receive, to land squarely in the middle, at around $ 38 million a year.

And, to be mathematically meticulous, even if Prescott sticks to his guns on a four-year demand, Mahomes’ annual average in the first four years of new funds is $ 38.95 million. That means Prescott could still ask for an increase in the current supply from $ 35 million a year to $ 38 million a year and stay below Mahomes, where the Cowboys want to stay. For a Cowboys team that was desperate not to market to QB, it can pay Prescott $ 3 million more a year than it originally planned and still console itself for not opening the transparent sunroof, as the chefs have already done it.

In addition, the Cowboys would not want to bear the brunt of a $ 31.5 million salary in 2020, knowing that a long-term deal on Prescott – although the average annual payment is higher – would likely be a blow much lower for the first year, depends on how the operation is structured. That, of course, would at least keep them entertained by adding a big name like, for example, Jamal Adams; if the New York Jets weren’t so disgusted with the idea to send All-Pro security to the Cowboys, thanks to a toxic October and Adams doing no good with his constant and very public flow of emojis for the eyes of the heart sent to North Texas.

Still, Adams’ trade is not impossible, but it is not even a discussion with Prescott which is not the subject of a long-term agreement and which should reach the 2020 ceiling for 31.5 millions of dollars – which leaves them just about $ 8 million of space once each of the 2020 projects of choice are signed.

There is another caveat to the Mahomes deal, but it works in favor of the Cowboys, and that, again, is the length.

As mentioned, the team wanted to go as long as possible on a new contract with Prescott, but they cocked it as if Josh Norman was in the open. But Dallas can now show what happened in Kansas City and argue that the longer deals help everyone involved, and that they actually exist in a world where most QBs stick to the four-year deals. . After all, if a former quintessential league player and quintessential Super Bowl player, who is also just five months away from hoisting a Lombardi Trophy, is ready to commit to more than a decade with a team – surely that means it’s a cool thing to at least consider, yes? In this regard, Prescott lost just a little leverage (a ribbon, if you will), in his argument against a longer chord.

Prescott and the Cowboys benefiting from the historic agreement of Mahomes do not wash it, but rather create a more robust and intriguing dialogue when they are ready to sit down to chop everything in the coming days. The two sides have long been expected to reach an agreement before the deadline (which could very well be a buzzer drummer), sources told CBS Sports and Jerry Jones – who have noted that “Deadlines do business” and how he “doesn’t get hand cramps when writing checks” after being asked about giving Prescott a mega-deal – is usually at its best when the clock is its enemy. Having failed for more than a year now to get his QB franchise agreement, at some point Jones understands that his ability to make deals will be in question if July 15 comes and goes without Prescott having a multi-year contract.

Time will tell how it all goes, but the fact that Mahomes got his deal first may not be a bad thing.

In the end, it could be a blessing in disguise for everyone involved in contract talks in Dallas, as it now gives Prescott and the Cowboys their final parameters because, thanks to Mahomes, none of this is any more a guessing game. With deals now on Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz, Jared Goff and Mahomes, the only other contract that could reshape the conversation in any way is that of Deshaun Watson, but the likelihood of the latter occurring within the next eight days is thin. – none – since Watson himself is probably waiting for Prescott (who is on schedule) to crop his talks in Houston.

For the Cowboys and their quarterback Pro Bowl twice, all assumptions and guesses have officially disappeared. Everything is going well in front of them, waiting for someone to take the wheel and put it back on the ground before the league closes the way to construction until 2021.


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