La Canfora says Prescott’s side was willing to concede on a five-year deal at about $35 million per year if Dallas would give him a no-tag clause at the end of it.
Previously, four years had been the longest Prescott was willing to sign for and was one of the biggest obstacles to completing a deal. The Cowboys tend to prefer extremely long deals when signing star players to extensions.
However, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would not sign off on a no-tag clause and a deal was not reached by the July 15 deadline, setting Prescott on a course to play out this year on the franchise tag.
Per La Canfora, agents and other general managers think Dallas may have made an enormous mistake given how the quarterback market has risen. They expect Prescott’s deal to come in around $42-$43 million per season now, $8 million a year more than the offer he was willing to take.
“No matter how you slice it, Jerry made a $40 million mistake,” said one prominent quarterback agent. “Just do the math. It’s pretty simple. Prescott has them over a barrel.”
La Canfora notes the Cowboys would have likely have signed Prescott to an extension before a no-tag clause became a factor so this was a curious and expensive decision by Dallas.
“Based off everything I know of that situation, the Cowboys did themselves no favors,” one GM said. “Even when the cap goes up (expected perhaps by 2022 depending on COVID-19), $8 million a year is a big deal. That’s like costing yourself a couple of starters or top backups at less-expensive positions. If you think you’re competing for a Super Bowl, that’s a big deal.”
Prescott will play out the 2020 season under the franchise tag and make $31.4 million fully guaranteed before being in position to test the open market next year.
Prescott, 27, is a former fourth-round pick of the Cowboys back in 2016. He played out the final year of his four-year, $2.72 million contract and was in line to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason when Dallas placed the franchise tag on him.
In 2019, Prescott appeared in all 16 games and completed 65.1 percent of his passes for 4,902 yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He has also rushed for 277 yards and three touchdowns for Dallas. Pro Football Focus rated him as the No. 10 quarterback out of 37 qualifying players.
We have him included in our Top 50 – 2021 Free Agents list.
We’ll have more regarding Prescott and the Cowboys as the news is available.