The idea of the SF 49ers somehow landing Cowboys pending free-agent quarterback Dak Prescott is enticing, but not at his contract wishes.
SF 49ers general manager John Lynch reiterated his team is committed to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in 2021, although other reports and rumors have suggested the Niners would entertain the idea of targeting an upgrade if one became available.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is an upgrade over Garoppolo. Both younger and with a higher NFL pedigree, it’s a massive wonder why Dallas has committed long term to its star signal-caller.
After playing 2020 on the franchise tag at $31.4 million, which included him suffering a serious season-ending injury, Prescott is still scheduled as an unrestricted free agent this offseason. And while Garoppolo remains under contract through 2022, the relatively easy ability to get out from under his own deal while targeting Prescott sure sounded enticing enough.
That was before additional reports surfaced about the contractual demands Prescott apparently has.
NFL Network’s Jane Slater appeared on the Dan Patrick Show and broke down some of those expectation levels this week:
“Last year’s money was in the ballpark of [Seattle Seahawks quarterback] Russell Wilson slash [Los Angeles Rams quarterback] Jared Goff-type money,” Slater said. “Now [Prescott] is looking to be paid right behind [Kansas City Chiefs quarterback] Patrick Mahomes.”
Mahomes’ contract has an average annual value of $45 million, by the way.
SF 49ers can’t come close to affording Dak Prescott now
Perhaps Prescott’s asking price is why the Cowboys have had issues trying to extend their star quarterback.
Whether or not Prescott is worth that kind of money is debatable. Mahomes is viewed as the league’s best quarterback and has made it to back-to-back Super Bowls, winning one of them as SF 49ers fans know too well.
Prescott, while exceptional, doesn’t have that pedigree. And him coming off a serious injury doesn’t help his cause.
But even if Prescott has to give a little on those contractual demands, the Niners wouldn’t be able to come close to afford anything by the way of even $40 million annually.
Case in point, according to Over the Cap, San Francisco has just over $13 million in cap space for the offseason. Parting ways with Garoppolo could free up $24.1 million, which would bring the total up to $37 million. Getting close, but that doesn’t include approximately $8 million needed to sign the team’s rookie NFL Draft class later this spring.
And it certainly wouldn’t include re-signing the near-40 pending free agents the SF 49ers have elsewhere on their roster, namely left tackle Trent Williams, whose importance just rose with the Arizona Cardinals inking perennial All-Pro pass-rusher J.J. Watt earlier this week.
From a financial perspective, going after Prescott no longer makes the kind of sense it would have earlier this offseason.
Perhaps fans knew this was going to be the reality all along. But Slater’s reports confirm Prescott has essentially priced himself out of any Niners’ dwindling ability to sign him.