FRISCO - Dallas Cowboys fans are highly aware of the “cap hell” accusations hurled annually in the direction of team owner Jerry Jones’ club.
Here we go again with the panicky accusations …
And here we go again with the already-built-in solution.
Quarterback Dak Prescott’s new $160 million deal, signed last spring, is part of the “problem” as presently constructed.
But team sources tell CowboysSI.com that part of the construction of the deal, when executed, will give Dallas about $16 million in 2022 cap relief.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams, as they spend their time on this Super Bowl vs. the Cincinnati Bengals, also have QB money on their minds. And thus the report that Matthew Stafford will soon get a contract extension.
How will this work for Stafford? The Rams acquired Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions last year with the understanding that the veteran quarterback only had two years left on his contract. He’s signed through the 2022 season but the Rams seem committed to Stafford for years to come.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Rams will try to give him more years plus more money, with the impact being spread out - so his cap hit of $23 million in 2022 can be reduced, which can help the Rams keep this roster together.
Additionally, he is under contract to be in L.A. just one more season after this, and the Rams want to continue the partnership.
And what about Dak? The cap reduction comes under a similar idea. But no real year will be added - and unlike with Stafford, no real money, either.
This is a common bit of craftsmanship as performed by COO Stephen Jones’ “big calculator” people here inside The Star.
It is a pre-designed “switch” that can (will) be “flipped.”
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It requires no renegotiation with Prescott. It requires no sacrifice from Prescott. It requires no approval from Prescott.
It’s already approved.
In layman’s terms, money that was going to be paid to Dak’s left pocket will now be shoved into his right pocket, a bookkeeping trick that explains the voidable years at the end of his deal. (He's presently scheduled for "zero'' salary in the final year of his contract, when he's 33. This move will change that.)
The best scenario (and best bet) is that Dak is still playing at that time, and therefore earning the money shuffled forward to 2026 way back in 2022.
Dak is still getting his money, and Dallas still believes he's the right guy. As Jones said recently, “Dak has played at a level that can take teams to Super Bowls and win Super Bowls. … He’s probably at the top of the list (of reasons for Cowboys optimism.)''
The Cowboys will stay aligned with Dak because they believe he can do it. The Rams will stay aligned with Stafford because they are seeing him actual do it.
This singular move - and again, one fully mapped out in advance - doesn’t make a Super Bowl magically appear and it doesn't make disappear the entire financial challenge as Dallas is presently $21 million over the $208 million cap. But amid some other tough and complex financial decisions to be made in order to find more room (from Amari Cooper to DeMarcus Lawrence and more), the restructuring of the deal given the richest player in franchise history is coming.
And because of the clever construction of Dallas’ deal with Dak, is lessens the concerns about “cap hell” really coming at all.
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