Dak Prescott says he's not 'necessarily' gunning to be highest-paid QB in NFL

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 14: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws a pass during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium on January 14, 2024 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott's future is up in the air after next season. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

The Dallas Cowboys are going to have to spend a lot of money to keep Dak Prescott around long term. Potentially not the most money.

Prescott spoke with reporters Friday, disclosing that contract negotiations with the team have not begun, but that he had a preliminary discussion with team owner Jerry Jones a few weeks ago, per the Dallas Morning News' Michael Gehlken. He then said something rather curious:

"I'm not trying to be the highest-paid, necessarily. I'll wait until negotiations begin and obviously want to put this team in the best situation."

It's not often you hear a player admit he's not gunning for the top salary at his position, though words might mean little when negotiations begin. His agent might also disagree.

If the Cowboys can't figure out a Prescott extension, he also didn't sound afraid of looking for another team:

"I'm not going to say I fear being here or not. I don't fear either situation, to be candid with you. I love this game and love to play and love to better myself as a player and my teammates around me. Right now, it's with the Dallas Cowboys. It's where I want to be and it's where I am and it's the focus. After the season, we'll see where we're at. If the future holds that, yeah, and if not, we'll go from there."

That's maybe a bit more cynical than Prescott has been in the past, as just last month he said he was "definitely confident" that a deal would happen.

Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals currently leads all NFL quarterbacks, and therefore all NFL players, in average annual value at $55 million per year, per OverTheCap. Right behind him are Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson ($52 million), then Jalen Hurts ($51 million). You would figure that's the range Prescott is targeting, despite another rough end to the season this year (its not like any of those four players have a Super Bowl ring, though Burrow and Hurts have at least reached the big game).

Prescott is entering the final season of the four-year, $160 million contract extension he signed in 2021. He'll carry a $55.1 million salary-cap hit into 2024, a figure that looms large amid the team's quiet offseason and the need for CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons extensions as well.