As expected, the Dallas Cowboys franchise-tagged Quarterback Dak Prescott before he became a free agent this week. While this was the most likely outcome, many in Cowboys Nation wanted the front office to reach a long-term deal with the 26-year-old quarterback. Now, the Cowboys have until July 15th to reach a contract extension. Otherwise, Dak will have to play under the tag and probably end up raising his price tag in 2021.
This is as good a time as any to remind ourselves that NFL contracts are a difficult topic. It's not just about the total value or the average salary per year that matters, but the guaranteed money, the contract structure and plenty of other details the casual fan doesn't even know about.
But of course, one of the most important features of an NFL contract is its length. Some players want long-term security and ask for such a long contract. Some others, want to see another payday, thus asking for a shorter deal.
It turns out, as the Cowboys negotiate with Dak, that length could be a bigger issue than the actual average salary per year. According to Chris Mortensen, the issue with the negotiations has been in the length of the deal.
The @dallascowboys don’t believe there is disrespect aspect to decision to place tag on Dak Prescott. Team sources insist again they have offered Dak more than Wentz & Goff.
Difference has been length – team wanted 5 yr extension and Dak wanted 4 yr. Dak still hanging tough .
Dak Prescott wanting a four-year extension makes a ton of sense. He'll be 27 this season. He's young, but a five-year deal doesn't guarantee him that he'll see another huge payday. Of course, quarterback's careers shouldn't be over by 32, but there's more uncertainty by then.
However, although I believe length might be the biggest issue of the deal, can we really act like the annual average value isn't an issue too?
Mortensen's report reads “Team sources insist again they have offered Dak more than Wentz and Goff.” If the same tweet mentioned something about the Cowboys offering more to Dak than Russell Wilson's $35M per year, I wouldn't doubt it was all about the length. But “more than Wentz and Goff” means they've offered Dak over $33.5M.
Dak Prescott has proven enough to be over that mark. When he signs the deal, Prescott's value will be closer to the top of the league. Heck, he's probably going to become the top-paid QB in the league.