The Dallas Cowboys inked franchise quarterback Dak Prescott to a a six-year, $240 million deal that includes $126 million guaranteed and a record $66 million signing bonus, however, the final two years of the deal void, making it a four-year, $160 million deal.
Included in the historic deal is an additional agreement that if Prescott wins a Super Bowl and plays in 50% of the snaps in the title game, he will earn a $1 million incentive, according to the contract.
- Signing bonus: $66 million
- 2021 base salary: $9 million
- 2022 base salary: $20 million
- 2023 base salary: $31 million
- 2024 base salary: $29 million ($5 million roster bonus due the fifth day of the league year)
- 2025 base salary: $40 million (voidable year)
- 2026 base salary: $40 million (voidable year)
- 2021 cap figure: $22.2 million
- 2022 cap figure: $33.2 million
- 2023 cap figure: $44.2 million
- 2024 cap figure: $47.2 million
- 2025 cap figure: $53.2 million (voidable year)
- 2026 cap figure: $40 million (voidable year)
Arguments on whether Prescott was worth that type of money split the fan base. The belief he earned, or could fulfill the expectations, that type of contract warrants caused division.
Many looked at 2020’s year without Prescott as a justification for how much worse this team is without him. Others look at the amount of offensive talent the team has and believes a cheaper option at quarterback could provide similar production in the win/loss column.
Now that Prescott is signed and the price tag of $40 million filled national headlines the automatic comparisons was made to quarterbacks who have already saw similar paydays.
But what are the Cowboys exactly paying Prescott to do? Bring home a super bowl or just meet the standards of what previous quarterbacks have done after they’ve been paid.
- Patrick Mahomes – $45 million
- Dak Prescott – $40 million
- Deshaun Watson – $39 million
- Russell Wilson – $35 million
- Jared Goff – $33.5 million
- Aaron Rodgers – $33.5 million
- Kirk Cousins – $33 million
- Carson Wentz – $32 million
- Matt Ryan – $30 million
- Jimmy Garoppolo – $27.5 million
Mahomes is coming off of a Super Bowl appearance, Watson recently went 4-12, Russell Wilson hasn’t reached a conference title game since signing his deal in April 2019 and Jared Goff has missed the playoffs, lost in the divisional round and been traded since signing his deal.
In the second half of the top 10, Aaron Rodgers has back-to-back losses in the conference title game since signing his deal, Kirk Cousins has one playoff appearance, Carson Wentz lost in the wildcard round, was benched the following year and is now on the Colts, while Garoppolo has a Super Bowl appearance.
So what is the exact expectations Prescott must meet in order to fulfill his contract? Aaron Rodgers is the only quarterback of the current 10 highest-paid quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl on a non-rookie deal.
Only four of those 10 quarterbacks even made the playoffs last year. Maybe a shift in expectations and a comparison to those quarterbacks in his bracket may help one better understand why Prescott is paid the way he is.
Previous Super Bowl Winners (ranking is where they stood amongst highest paid QBs that year):
- 2020 – Tom Brady, 15th
- 2019 – Patrick Mahomes, 31st
- 2018 – Tom Brady – 11th
- 2017 – Nick Foles – 47th
- 2016 – Tom Brady – 18th
- 2015 – Peyton Manning – 6th
- 2014 – Tom Brady – 12th
- 2013 – Russell Wilson – 53rd
- 2012 – Joe Flacco – 16th
- 2011 – Eli Manning – 5th
- 2010 – Aaron Rodgers – 21st
Could Prescott become just the third quarterback to win a super bowl in the past 10 years to win as one of the league’s highest-paid throwers?
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