2020 NFL free agency: Delayed CBA, tag deadline aids Cowboys in contract talks with Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper
The extra time could be the difference in how things turn out for Prescott and Cooper
Attempting to ratify a new NFL collective bargaining agreement has not been a quick and efficient process, and that's starting to work in the favor of the Dallas Cowboys . As owners await a decision from the entirety of the NFLPA voting body, namely every single player in the league who qualifies for a vote, deadlines are beginning to move to accommodate all parties involved.
First, the league moved the tag deadline from March 10 to March 12, giving the Cowboys and other teams two extra days of negotiation before they're forced to decide on which player(s) to tag, and now there's been another change to the calendar that should make owner Jerry Jones and Co. smile a bit.
The CBA voting deadline was initially set for March 12 to mostly coincide with the tag deadline but has now NFL itself deciding to move the tag deadline from March 12 to March 16 -- giving them four more days overall to avoid having to use a tag on Prescott or Cooper.. That is significant as it relates to the Cowboys because they currently have access to both the franchise tag and transition tag unless a new CBA is installed. If one is ratified, they'll be forced to rescind one of the tags, but now the soonest that would have to happen is March 14. But there's more working in the Cowboys favor now, with the
Simply put, if the new CBA is approved on March 14 and prevents the use of two tags, the Cowboys still have until March 16 before they have to apply one to anyone.
Those are the logistics,.
The team would ideally like to sign both and not need the tag for either, but realize that's a tall ask. If they ultimately have access to only one tag, they'll reserve it for Prescott, leaving Cooper free to take calls from other teams -- something they don't want to happen but would be powerless to stop. Contrarily, if Prescott agrees to terms before a new CBA steals away a tag, the existing tag would be applied to Cooper and talks regarding his extension will continue with a deadline to strike a deal sitting in mid-July.
Of course, All-Pro cornerback Byron Jones is an unless both Prescott and Cooper land deals and leave a tag on the table, but -- reason being the franchise tag and transition tag on a cornerback are projected to price out at $16.47 million and $14.57 million, respectively, but the Cowboys are averse to playing Jones anything higher than $13 million annually.
As for Prescott and Cooper, the Cowboys now have an added 48 hours to accomplish two separate missions or at least a minimum of one of them -- thanks to the drama surrounding the collective bargaining agreement.
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