While Kirk Cousins’ NFL career is defined by ups and downs, he’s a bonafide expert at one key skill — getting paid.
Don’t fear the franchise tag.
Prescott’s negotiations complicated by Dalton
Prescott has yet to sign the franchise tender the Cowboys offered him and is unlikely to do so ahead of the July 15 deadline. Prescott would earn more than $31 million playing under the tag, but obviously prefers a long-term deal after earning roughly $5 million total on his rookie contract.
Cousins: Sign the franchise tender
Cousins told ESPN’s Trey Wingo on Thursday (h/t @ PFT) that he would advise Prescott to enjoy the payday and wait for an even bigger one on the other end.
“I believe the franchise tag can be your friend,” Cousins said. “I don’t think it’s something to be disappointed with. I think it enables you to be well compensated, and deservedly so, for the upcoming season.
“Then, I always say the cream will rise to the top. If you’re good enough, the cream’s going to rise to the top, and you’re going to get compensated the way you want to.”
Cousins got paid
Cousins famously engaged in a multi-season contract standoff in Washington that resulted in his playing two straight seasons under the franchise tag. He then bolted for the Minnesota Vikings on a record fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million deal despite never demonstrating himself as more than a competent starter in the NFL.
It was a master class in getting paid.
Prescott on a similar career arc — so far
Prescott finds himself in a similar position as Cousins was in Washington. He’s outplayed his rookie deal as a mid-round draft pick, but is by no means in the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks. He’s trying to get paid like he is, leveraging his status as a capable NFL starter in a league where even that level of talent at a young age is coveted.
Prescott and the Cowboys were reportedly close to a multi-year deal worth $33 million annually last fall before Prescott demanded more.
Cousins’ advice is to go ahead and take the money in hand.
“Hey, whatever happens, don’t be afraid of the tag,” Cousins continued. “It can be your friend, and you can use it to your advantage.’”
While it’s taboo in NFL circles to talk about another man’s money, Prescott could do worse than take the Cousins path — that is if he can secure it.
Working consecutive seasons under the terms of the tag before signing a multi-year guaranteed deal is playing the game at its highest level.
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