On Thursday afternoon during NFL live on ESPN, a report from Adam Schefter left us with an answer we've been waiting for.
Schefter said that during the NFL combine, the agents of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will “figure out his value at the combine” and then decide what he is worth.
If Zeke refuses anything the team puts in front of him, he could be released.
Adding the video from NFL Live.
Note that Ezekiel Elliott has no more guaranteed money left on his contract and Tony Pollard is a pending free-agent.pic.twitter.com/YPRehOFvcZ
Ezekiel Elliott has no more guaranteed money left on his contract, and Tony Pollard is a pending free agent. For now, we expect the Cowboys to use the franchise tag on Pollard, whether he would play on it remains to be seen.
Whether it is a pay cut or restructure, Dallas would have to pinpoint a way to lower his cap hit for this upcoming season.
If he were to play tomorrow on the current deal, it would cost the Cowboys $16.7 million against the cap, given the production he has produced the last year and a half, so not worth it.
On Wednesday, I noted three moves the Cowboys can make the get under the salary cap in 2023. Cutting Zeke was one of them. He told the Cowboys he would take a pay cut to stay with the team. A post-June 1st cut would save Dallas nearly $11 million.
The NFL combine kicks off on February 28th and runs through March 6th. That is the window for his agents to get together and see what Elliott is worth nowadays. It sure isn't $16 million.
What will Dallas do if both sides can't agree on a number for Zeke to play next season? You better hope Pollard recovers enough to play on the tag. If not, Malik Davis will have to be ready for some action.
The last thing I want the Cowboys to do is to draft another running back. Sure, he will have fresh legs and juice for a couple of years, but let's avoid getting into the same situation we did with Zeke.
Elliott and his team will come to a number with the Cowboys that will allow him to stay. Zeke has never been the type to hold out in any way (when it has to do with him and not the Collective Bargaining Agreement). We could also see this ending like the Dez Bryant situation.
If Elliott is released, it puts the Cowboys below the salary cap. Doing so would allow them to bring another wide receiver or a No. 2 corner to the lineup next to Trevon Diggs.
nonetheless, we will have to wait another few weeks to see what happens with this Zeke situation. If Dallas doesn't hit on a number he likes, he probably won't see a much bigger one when testing the open market.
For those people wondering, no Dallas can't trade him. No team is going to take the rest of his contract. If he got traded a team would pay everything that is left.
I would love to keep both backs again and try it one more time at the right price. Although I don't see that happening.