Posted on August 16, 2019, by Travis Pulver
When Tony Romo went down with another collar bone injury a few years ago during the preseason, fans were worried about their team. As luck would have it, then-rookie Dak Prescott, a fourth-round pick, emerged as a viable NFL starting quarterback.
In the two seasons since, he has been good but not great. However, regardless of the perception anyone has of him, Jerry Jones has to do one thing—pay the man.
Of course, the hard part is Jones can’t just pay Prescott what he thinks Prescott is worth. That is what he did when he recently offered Prescott a deal that would have paid an average annual value of $30 million.
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But Prescott turned it down.
Rumors began to run rampant online that Prescott was demanding something widely viewed as ridiculous. According to those rumors, he didn’t just want to become the highest-paid player in league history. He wanted to shatter the record of $35 million AAV set by Russell Wilson– $40 million.
As could be expected, the internet scoffed at the notion he would make such a request. But the rumor was eventually proven to be false. What exactly he is looking for or what the problem was with the last offer the Cowboys made ($30 million AAV), has not been made public (more money? more guaranteed money? bonuses?).
The media and fans have closely watched negotiations between Prescott and the Cowboys. That attention has given rise to a prop bet at Bovada.lv:
· How Much Will the AAV of Dak Prescott’s Next Contract Be Worth?
o Over $32.5 million -120
o Under $32.5 million -120
For Jerry Jones, it isn’t as simple as just meeting whatever Prescott’s demands are. He also has to make sure he has room for Amari Cooper’s extension as well as Ezekiel Elliot, Jaylon Smith, and Byron Jones. Each one of those guys has earned a healthy pay raise, so Jones needs to preserve as much room under the salary cap as he can.
But quarterbacks cost a lot—even ones that are best described as ‘good.’ If Prescott had established himself as a ‘great’ quarterback, Jones would have no choice but to pay whatever Prescott wants. So, what do you pay a good quarterback?
When the alternative would be to start over at the position, you end up paying him what he wants. If Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is right, you pay him an AAV of $34 million. That would tie him with Ben Roethlisberger as the second-highest-paid player in the league.
However, there is no guarantee that Jones is going to bend to Prescott’s demands this season. Prescott could end up playing out the final year of his rookie contract. Should he have a career year and lead the Cowboys on a playoff run, he’ll get his $34 million AAV.
But if he doesn’t, he may find himself wishing he had taken the $30 million AAV offer. Or he could go the franchise tag route which would peg his 2020 salary at $26.774 million (per Overthecap.com).
So—how should you bet?
Don’t expect Jones to flinch this year. He will be okay with waiting as will Prescott. But then don’t be shocked if doesn’t have a great year and accepts the franchise tag for 2020 as a ‘prove-it’ year.
Take the under.