Quarterbacking in the NFL is a fraternity in which players at the position pull for their colleagues to get what they’re owed in free agency.
Kirk Cousins, who signed a three-year, $84 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings in 2018, offered up some valuable advice to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott recently. The message behind Cousins’ guidance? Embrace being franchise-tagged.
Kirk Cousins on ESPN: “Certainly in my journey, it all worked out. I wouldn’t go back and change a thing. My message to Dak, when I saw him midseason last year was, ‘Hey, whatever happens, don’t be afraid of the tag. It can be your friend, and you can use it to your advantage.'”
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 8, 2020
Prescott shouldn’t think twice about taking Cousins’ advice to heart. The 31-year-old vet played under the franchise tag in back-to-back seasons with the Washington Redskins. During that span, he pocketed just under $44 million. Now, he’s earning $28 million annually on a fully-guaranteed contract with Minnesota.
The Cowboys placed an exclusive franchise tag on Prescott in March. If both sides are unable to agree to terms on an extension before the July 15 deadline, the 26-year-old will bank $31.4 million in 2020. At this rate, it’s looking very likely that Dak will play the upcoming campaign under the tag. As Cousins’ experience has shown, that could have serious benefits down the road.
Kirk Cousins’ advice to Dak Prescott: Franchise tag can be your friend https://t.co/RPNYrDffnL
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 8, 2020
Prescott’s interest in long-term security should fade the longer that he goes unsigned by the Cowboys. From a financial perspective, the former third-round pick is in a can’t-lose situation right now. Assuming he plays under the tag this year, he’ll have the opportunity to cash in on an extension next offseason. Should Dallas choose to tag him for the second time, he’ll again earn north of $30 million. By that time, Prescott would be 28 years old and eligible for a fresh contract.
Whether that’s with the Cowboys or another team remains up for debate. The thing to take away from Cousins’ consultation is that Prescott has incredible leverage. It really makes you wonder why Dallas didn’t avoid this headache by signing the two-time Pro Bowler to an extension last offseason.