Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott bet on himself, and won...BIG!
The 6th year signal caller for America's Team signed a contract extension Monday that makes him the 2nd highest paid QB in football behind Patrick Mahomes. The terms of the deal are eye-popping to say the least, including $75 Million the first year, in Texas, where there is no state income tax.
Prescott, like Broncos safety Justin Simmons was set to have the Franchise Tag placed on him for the 2nd year in a row. The biggest difference was his QB salary, which would've been fully guaranteed for $37 Million and would have counted 100% on this year's salary cap. Simmons wages will jump from just over $11.4 Million to Just under $13.8 if he plays on the tag this year, but I've predicted and will continue to predict that a long term contract will be negotiated and agreed to between the Pro Bowl Safety and The Broncos before Free Agency starts next week.
The tag, which gives a team exclusive rights to negotiate with a player, and keeps them on their roster through the end of the season, was simply used as a place holder in this case. I was told Simmons and his agent, were close to a long-term deal last summer, but couldn't get all the way there.
His agent, Todd France of Athlete's 1st, is what ties these two players together. France also represents Prescott. So, presumably this frees France up even more to focus on Simmons deal next. France is as well respected an agent as there is, and that's why Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the biggest Agency in Hollywood, convinced France to join them when they started their football division, and why A1 was happy to bring France aboard during the 2020 football season. He can certainly work on multiple deals at once, so this isn't an insinuation that he can't work on both deals simultaneously. From a practical standpoint, it's common sense that with Prescott's contract complete, Simmons will get much more attention.
One other side note, the Broncos "cap guru" aka Chief Negotiator is Rich Hurtado. His actual title is Vice President of Football Administration. Prior to joining the Broncos last off-season, he worked as France's right-hand man at CAA. Thus, the two men who are at the center of this negotiation are by all accounts still very close, and that should only help a long-term deal get reached. As I said before, it seems to be a matter of "when" not "if!"
Other Franchise Tag Notes and how they relate to The Broncos:
Simmons was the first player to be tagged, and obviously The Cowboys and Prescott avoided the Tag. But with the deadline being Tuesday at 2 PM, 8 other players were tagged around the league.
Jets Safety Marcus Maye, Washginton Guard Brandon Scherff, Buccaneers Wideout Chris Godwin, Jaguars Tackle Cam Robinson, Bears Wideout Allen Robinson, Panthers Tackle Taylor Moton, Saints Safety Marcus Williams and Giants D-Lineman Leonard Williams.
The Williams tag is the most notable, because with J.J. Watt signing in Arizona and Williams staying in the Big Apple, Shelby Harris becomes the best interior defensive lineman potentially available. I used the word, "potentially" because the Broncos can still re-sign Harris before the league year starts next Wednesday. There are plenty of folks around the league who think there will be a market for Harris, and with Williams now off the table, that presumption is only strengthened.
Also, because Godwin was tagged, that means former Bronco and CSU Ram Shaquil Barrett, who still makes his off-season home in Denver won't be tagged by Tampa. The 2-time Super Bowl Champ, who sacked Patrick Mahomes twice in Super Bowl 55 is now set to hit the open market, a year after leading the NFL in sacks with 19.5 in 2019. The odds that he ends up back in Denver seem somewhere between slim and none, but with Von Miller's future unknown, and Barrett now a true free agent, anything is, in theory, possible.