Dak Prescott and Tate Martell have a high opinion of themselves that has left them outside the realm of reality and it’s hurting them for different reasons.
My internet buddy Shea Serrano always tells people to bet on themselves. It’s great advice because if you don’t bet on yourself, why should anyone else?
It’s a great line to apply to professional sports and athletes when they play out an existing deal in the hopes of cashing in down the road via free agency. In the case of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, he’s betting on himself. But he’s betting on himself as if he were the second coming of Tom Brady.
Prescott reportedly turned down $30 million per year by the Cowboys who also have to figure out how they’re going to pay Amari Cooper and get Ezekiel Elliott out of Cabo in time before he balloons up north of 250 pounds. Prescott is reportedly seeking a record-breaking $40 million annual salary, which would be $5 million more than the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL, Russell Wilson and Tom Brady.
As good of a player as he is, no one is mistaking him for Wilson or The GOAT.
I have to admire him for betting on himself with such confidence, but I also have to wonder if Antonio Brown is giving him this advice. This is some of the most ridiculous demands I’ve seen, and this is the NFL where that’s the norm. I love Dak, been a huge fan since 2013 when I’d tell anyone who’d listen that he was special.
In his defense, he’s not wrong to ask for back pay. He’s been one of the biggest bargains in the NFL the last three years. Prescott will earn a $2.025 million base salary this year which ranks 26th among quarterbacks, according to spotrac. His career earnings of $2.7 million through three seasons is half of what career journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick will get to maybe start for the Miami Dolphins. Bryan Hoyer, Nate Sudfeld and Chase Daniel will all make more than that as backups this season alone.
He’s worth three times that, but four times worth would destroy the salary cap and could mean Elliott and/or Cooper are no longer fits in the budget. Consider his 32 wins since 2016 (second-most in the NFL) are a team stat, his No. 1 argument is hollow.
He’s clutch and has led 14 game-winning drives during his NFL career, but he’s also never thrown more than 23 touchdowns or for more than 4,000 yards. Further, his QBR has declined the last two seasons. He’s great for the Cowboys because of Elliott, Cooper and arguably the NFL’s best offensive line in front of him and complimented by an ascending young defense.
That doesn’t scream $40 million.
I get rising tides lift all ships and he will benefit from the market that was set by his peers. But he’s not in their class. Not even close. If Prescott is worth $40 per year, then Patrick Mahomes is worth $100 million.
I don’t fault him for trying to get his paper. I would be trying to do the same thing. You would too. Ask for a lot and have them go back to the negotiating table. I’d just recommend having a dose of reality otherwise he’s not going to get paid by the Cowboys and he’s not going to get as a free agent.
Tate Martell faces another hardship: He’s just not that good
It’s hard to admit when you’re not as good as you think you are.
Tate Martell bolted from Ohio State after Justin Fields transferred in and knew he wouldn’t be able to beat him out for the starting quarterback job. He transferred to Miami with the assumption he’d win the starting job over uneven N’Kosi Perry and redshirt freshman Jarren Williams. Funny thing happened along the way though: Williams won the job over Perry and Martell. In fact, if he doesn’t leave, Martell might be holding a clipboard all season as the third-team quarterback.
That deserves a big yike.
Martell reportedly wasn’t at practice on Monday after learning Manny Diaz just isn’t that into him. I fully expect his next move to be hopping back in the transfer portal and claiming another hardship due to a lack of talent.
Martell was a high school superstar at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas where they were basically the Clemson or Alabama of the prep ranks. He wasn’t used to hardship. He was the Gatorade National Player of the Year and went 45-0 his last three years. He was the big man on campus. A reality star who appeared in season one of the Netflix series QB1: Beyond the Lights.
He was used to everything going his way. So when things don’t go his way, he runs, and he’s probably going to do what he’s done in the past and run again. He’s already decommitted from Washington, Texas A&M and transferred from Ohio State. Martell’s highlight tape is full of him making people miss and running away from defenses. Now he’s running away from competition.
Martell needs to take a long look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact he’s just not as good as he thinks he is. Only then can he begin to male something of his stalled college career.
Much like with Prescott, Martell can’t handle the truth.