Dak Prescott will make $31.4 million under the one-year franchise tender with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020 after the sides did not reach a long-term deal Wednesday before the 4 p.m. ET deadline.
According to NFL Network's Jane Slater, Prescott was involved in trying to seal a deal at the last minute on a contract that she said would have paid him $70 million over the first two years and included a $50 million signing bonus and $110 million in guaranteed money. She added that in the end, it was too close to the deadline to complete the contract and the two sides agreed the quarterback would play on the tag, which he signed in June.
Of the other 12 franchise-tagged players yet to sign a new contract entering Wednesday, only one reached an agreement: Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, who agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract with $25.5 million guaranteed, according to reports.
The 12 players who will play 2020 on the one-year tender:
Bengals WR A.J. Green, $17.9M
Broncos S Justin Simmons, $11.4M
Buccaneers OLB Shaq Barrett, $15.8M (filed grievance to be classified as DE)
Chargers TE Hunter Henry, $10.6M
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, $31.5M (exclusive tag)
Giants DE Leonard Williams, $16.1M
Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue, $17.8M
Patriots G Joe Thuney, $14.8M
Ravens OLB Matt Judon, $16.8M (agreed with team to tender between LB and DE values)
Steelers OLB Bud Dupree, $15.8M (filed grievance to be classified as DE)
Vikings S Anthony Harris, $11.4M
Washington G Brandon Scherff, $14.8M
Prescott's contract talks with the Cowboys have simmered on and off, but owner Jerry Jones said during the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine the team would only do a deal that made sense financially.
The market for quarterbacks shifted in a massive way last week. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed a 10-year extension worth up to $503 million. Previously, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (four years, $140 million in April 2019) was the top-paid passer at $35 million annually.
Prescott, who turns 27 on July 29, reportedly turned down a five-year, $175 million contract this offseason. Tagging Prescott a second time next spring would cost the Cowboys nearly $40 million, based on current projections.
A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Prescott set career highs in 2019 with 4,902 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes. He added three rushing scores for the Cowboys, who finished with an 8-8 record and missed the playoffs.
Prescott has thrown for 15,778 yards and 97 touchdowns while adding 21 rushing scores in 64 career games since being selected by Dallas in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Most of the other franchise-tagged players were not expected to reach agreements Wednesday. Various reports said Green, Hunter Henry, Scherff, Thuney and Williams all expected to play 2020 on the tag.
Barrett, the 2019 sack leader with 19.5, said earlier this month he didn't expect a long-term contract. He signed his tender but also filed a grievance to be classified as a defensive end, which would boost his tender value from $15.8 million to $17.8 million.
Dupree filed the same grievance, according to reports.
Judon, like Barrett and Dupree, plays outside linebacker for a team with a 3-4 defense, but he and the Ravens previously negotiated a mutual tender value halfway between the linebacker and defensive end values.
Ngakoue, who has demanded a trade from the Jaguars, reportedly drew interest from other teams, but the Jaguars turned down multiple offers. He still can be traded, but any team acquiring him would have him under contract for only one season.
Elsewhere, Broncos general manager John Elway deemed a Simmons extension a priority earlier this offseason, but the sides couldn't find mutual ground.
According to 9News Denver, the Broncos offered Simmons a contract that would have paid him like a top-five or top-six safety, but the sides "amicably agreed to disagree."
Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake, who got the transition tag, has until next Wednesday to reach a long-term deal.
--Field Level Media