Dak Prescott’s horrific injury could pave the way for a very real test of free agency.
The New England Patriots are typically only bargain hunters. They’re not out there breaking the bank for free agents, though on occasion they’ll splurge and sign a guy like Stephon Gilmore. Next up on the list could be Cam Newton, who’s been great as the starting QB since taking over for Tom Brady.
But did a more intriguing option just pique the Patriots’ interest?
Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury against the New York Giants on Sunday, and in case you’ve been out of the loop, he’ll be a free agent after the 2020 season after opting to play under the franchise tag when the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement on a long-term contract.
Though we’ll never know exactly what happened during these negotiations — reports suggested the Cowboys lowballed Prescott while others indicated he wasn’t being fair with his asking price — it’s clear that there’s more of a possibility than ever that Prescott tests free agency come March.
Why? Because the team that drafted him failed to give him the long-term security he deserved. Dak has started every possible game since taking the job from Tony Romo (69, to be exact) and he’s won 42 of those games. Though he’s only 1-2 in the playoffs, he lost to Aaron Rodgers his rookie year and fell to the eventual Super Bowl-bound LA Rams in 2018.
If Prescott’s price tag does take a hit because of his injury, do you think he’ll really let the Cowboys benefit from that? Maybe, who knows! But our gut would guess he wouldn’t. Of course, Dallas could just franchise tag him again, but let’s throw that scenario out the window for a moment.
What if the Patriots, who will have a ton of cap space ready to use when the year ends, give Prescott a call and instead allow Newton to test free agency? Prescott will enter his age-28 season in 2021 and would give New England an instant franchise quarterback who can arguably fit their system better than Newton.
This is assuming Prescott’s price tag drops a bit or he’s willing to take a cut after his devastating injury. We’re unsure if that will be the case, but it’s probably the only way the Patriots get involved here.
This unlikely/dream scenario would give Prescott a much more reliable defense, which he’s largely lacked in Dallas, in addition to a premier coaching staff, after enduring years of Jason Garrett only to be handed an out-dated Mike McCarthy in 2020. It’s at least something to consider for Dak, who could be in a difficult situation come March. Though, once again, we don’t know what the Cowboys will do or if another team would be willing to splurge for the former Mississippi State star.
Nonetheless, his injury has opened up this conversation more than we could’ve ever imagined, so it cannot be overlooked, especially since the Patriots, right now, do not have a quarterback for 2021.