Matt Ryan just got an extension from Atlanta Falcons, which made him NFL’s highest-paid player. Falcons franchise quarterback signed a six-year $150 million contract. According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the deal is set to run through 2023 with annual salary cap-hit set at $30 million.
The next franchise quarterback in line for an extension is Aaron Rodgers. When he signs his contract, it is expected that he will exceed the $150 million mark.
With this development, somewhere in Dallas’ vicinity, Dak Prescott is probably smiling. With Dez Bryant released, and Jason Witten retired Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott are undoubtedly the faces of America’s Team.
Prescott, still on his rookie contract, was a fourth-round pick in 2016. He is set to earn $725,848 and $815,849 for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Dak will be eligible to negotiate the terms of his next contract after the 2018 season. From a financial perspective, Cowboys should talk to him about the extension after the end of this season. If they wait for his rookie contract to expire, they might have to pay him the top market price. This number is roughly between $30-$40 million per year.
The contract that Dallas head office currently have on their minds is the one of their All-Pro guard Zack Martin. After they extend Martin’s contract, he will most likely become the highest-paid guard in the league.
It is essential for Cowboys to play the salary cap smart while Dak Prescott is on the rookie contract. Big D franchise believes that their Super Bowl window is opened, and this is because of the promise Prescott showed in 2016 and their O-line which is considered the best in NFL. But in two years time, when Dak gets his new contract, some of the other pieces on their offense, or maybe on defense will have to be released.
To see how a highly paid QB can lead your team into a rebuild look no further than Seattle Seahawks. While their quarterback Russel Wilson was on a rookie deal they have won one SB and probably should have won another one. His rookie deal allowed them to create Legion of Boom. Now that Wilson has the biggest salary cap hit on the team, their premium defense is getting dismantled.
Same could happen with Cowboys when Dak gets close to a new contract. But, there’s also a chance that if Prescott under-performs in 2018 his new contract doesn’t reflect what Matt Ryan received. We’ll have to wait and see.