It was reported that Dak Prescott wanted to come in behind Patrick Mahomes in terms of annual money, and it appears he got his wish. Just five starts after rebuffing the Dallas Cowboys’ reported offer of $34.5 million per season on a five-year deal, Prescott has emerged an offseason later with a deal that appears to average $40 million a season.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that owner Jerry Jones has ponied up for his franchise quarterback and the agreement is for four years and $140 million total, with an NFL record $126 million guaranteed. $66 million of that is in the form of a signing bonus. The deal will apparently include a void year to help spread that cap hit across five seasons and will have a Year 1 salary of $9 million.
If the reporting is accurate, then Prescott’s deal is fully guaranteed over the first three seasons. Mahomes’ 10-year, $450 million deal contained $141 million in total guarantees, but only $73 million in up front guarantees.
The deal moves Prescott past Houston’s Deshaun Watson into second-highest annual average salary after the latter signed an extension with the Texans for $156 million of new money last season. Prescott’s three-year average will include a sizable signing bonus as well as guaranteed salaries the first three seasons and a 2024 salary of $34 million.
If the deal does not include any voidable years (which is a strong possibility considering how the Cowboys like to spread out cap hits), the still-unknown signing bonus will be prorated over the four years to lower the cap hit.
Prior to the deal the Cowboys were going to have to franchise tag Prescott for a second consecutive season, meaning a $37.7 million salary and cap hit.
The hit now will be considerably less, but it is still unknown how well it will fit into the team’s projected $20 million worth of cap space. The Cowboys could still have to make restructures or cuts by March 17, the first day of the new league year to fit under the coming salary cap.
That amount is unknown but is reported to be between $180 million and $185 million, with several estimates settling on $181 million.
The Cowboys beat any new deals that could have been coming for other young stars eligible for new deals like former MVP Lamar Jackson in Baltimore and Josh Allen in Buffalo. Dallas has been burned by waiting over the last several seasons, watching a market explode with new deals for Watson, Seattle’s Russell Wilson and Prescott’s draft-class mates Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. Humorously, both the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles regretted those deals immediately and ended up shipping off both QBs in trades last month.
Prescott has outplayed them both, but had to wait for his big payday which finally has arrived.