Tom Brady's Next Destination and Cost Controlled Players

I'm going to vote for the Cowboys. I'm not going to run any numbers but I think the "analytics" would support this a the most logical outcome. If it is a matter of prediction, I would put the probability of landing at the Cowboys as very low. What I'm saying is that the Cowboys are the "right" destination (assuming he leaves the Patriots).


First, from the Cowboys' perspective the big question is the expected value and potential costs associated with resigning Dak Prescott. Last year Prescott made about $2 million. For reference, Patrick Mahomes (on a rookie contract) made about $650k plus some portion of a $10 signing bonus while Kirk Cousins (on a non-rookie contract) made about $28 million.


From Sports Illustrated, a report on the Prescott negotiations suggests that the salary for a new deal for Dak may require the Cowboys to invest 20 times the financial resources into their starting QB.

When it comes to NFL contract negotiations, some in the media tend to "pick a side,'' and then to portray "their side'' as the "good guys'' and the other side as the "bad guys.'' In fact, of course, owners' negotiations with star players are really mostly about both existing on the same side.
And yes, we're including the stalemate involving the Dallas Cowboys and QB Dak Prescott in that category. Dak has made noises about not showing up for spring workouts in the almost inevitable event that the franchise tag is used ... but it's not spring yet. And he's made louder noises about the confidence he has that the Jones family will work with him to make him the highest-paid player in franchise history.
"He deserves everything that he has coming,'' Stephen recently said. ""He's got the 'It Factor' ... "I'll take him any time, when you go to war against these (other teams).''
Meanwhile, Jerry and Stephen may be "low-balling'' Prescott behind closed doors (though the $35 million APY deal that was almost done last September didn't seem to us at the time to be "low-balling'' at all. 

Prescott is going to negotiate aggressively and use media pressure to try an generate a deal worth $40 million per season. He also wants a significant number of seasons guaranteed. Maybe the Cowboys would need to provide $100 to $160 in guaranteed money.


In contrast, a rookie quarterback may cost either a few million or several hundred of thousands of dollars depending on the draft position. The key phrase is that rookies are "cost controlled".


How does Tom Brady fit into this situation? Can Tom Brady be a stop gap that provides the same or better chance of winning while the Cowboys develop a cost controlled QB?


Maybe the decision is Dak Prescott for 5 years for $200 million or Tom Brady and a prospect or two for $50 million. Suddenly, we have an interesting "expected value" question rather than a simple "is Dak an elite QB who should be compensated as such?" question.


Will the Cowboys win more games and have more post season success with the $200 million Dak plan or with the $50 million Brady plus prospects option (that maybe includes $100 million in linebacker and wide receiver talent)? This is a great "on-field" analytics question.


From the Tom Brady side, it is more of a branding question. The classic approach to managing the athlete brand would say stay in New England. Don't confuse the "Brady" brand by playing a year for the Jaguars.


But...


In this situation there is the potential to do something interesting. Playing and winning in a Cowboys uniform might amplify the Brady brand. By affiliating with an iconic brand like the Cowboys (and winning) the Brady legend actually grows.


There is also the matter of who gets credit for the Patriots' dynasty. Right now it is shared between Coach Belichick and QB Brady. If he wins in Dallas as the Patriots rebuild, then Brady grabs a little bit more of the credit for the Pats. This is a great "marketing" analytics question.



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