Mon, Mar 8, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The clock is ticking down to a moment that will have serious implications across the board for sports bettors: The deadline for NFL teams to place the franchise tag on players is Tuesday, March 9, at 4 pm ET.
The question remains: Will the Dallas Cowboys place the franchise tag on quarterback Dak Prescott for a second straight year?
If the Cowboys decide to place the franchise tag on Prescott it will come at a cost of $37.7 million. The two sides have been attempting to agree to a long-term contract extension since before the 2019 season, but have yet to make headway.
According to Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones, it’s not uncommon for the team to use a deadline to secure a deal (trade, free agent signings, extensions, etc). However, it has become widely known that Dallas will in fact tender the franchise tag to Prescott if a long-term deal is not in place by the Tuesday deadline.
The Cowboys and Prescott’s agent, Todd France, have been attempting to come to terms on an extension since 2019. There seemed to be momentum early in the 2019 campaign for a long-term deal to get done, but Prescott and the Cowboys began on a 3-0 run and Prescott had tossed nine touchdowns. By that point, talks about a deal fizzled out completely.
Negotiations seemed to resume at this time last year when the two sides met at the NFL combine. Despite the meeting, which took place on the Cowboys bus, an agreement never materialized and the organization wound up tendering the franchise tag on Prescott.
The value of the tag last season was $31.4 million. It meant that any team willing to sign Prescott via free agency would have to send the Cowboys two first-round draft picks as compensation.
No team was willing to offer up the picks, so Prescott remained a member of the Cowboys for the 2020 season. The two sides set a deadline of July 15 to get an extension done and it almost came to fruition.
The Cowboys offered five years at $34.5 million per year, plus a $50 million signing bonus, and $110 million guaranteed. According to sources close to the situation, almost $90 million would have been guaranteed at signing. Prescott asked the Cowboys to include a clause in the contract ensuring that the team wouldn’t use the franchise tag on him in 2025.
Prescott was playing lights out to begin the 2020 season, leading the offense to 30 points or more in four of the team’s first five games. Then, disaster struck in week five when Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle against the New York Giants.
Prescott missed the remainder of the 2020 season and Dallas missed the playoffs. The quarterback is believed to be on schedule for the offseason program in the coming weeks.
With Tuesday’s deadline looming large, the Cowboys and Prescott have a decision to make that will impact the sports betting world beginning with the NFL Draft in April. If a long-term contract isn’t reached, the Cowboys might be forced to draft a quarterback to eventually replace Prescott.