Insider: Why Seahawks could be in on Dak Prescott next offseason

Jun 22, 2024, 1:05 PM

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott Seattle Seahawks...

Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys during a 2023 game. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks are set for the 2024 season when it comes to quarterback with starter Geno Smith and backup Sam Howell, but the future of the QB room could certainly change after the upcoming campaign.

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The veteran Smith will be heading into the final year of his deal in 2025, when he turns 35 years old, and Seattle could save $25 million against the salary cap if it moves on from Smith next year, per Spotrac. That could open the door for Howell to take over the reins, or it could present the opportunity for the Seahawks to make a splash at QB.

ESPN NFL insider Bill Barnwell joined Stacy Rost and Curtis Rogers on Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy on Friday for a conversation about the Seahawks and the NFL. Part of the conversation centered around quarterback contracts due to Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence recently signing a five-year, $275 million contract extension with the Jaguars. That resulted in Barnwell mentioning an interesting potential free agent QB the Seahawks could go after next offseason: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, whose contract situation Barnwell recently wrote about.

“It would be atypical for the Seahawks, I think it’s fair to say, but when it comes to quarterbacks, teams don’t always behave by the rules we would expect,” Barnwell said.

Prescott’s leverage in Dallas

Prescott, the runner-up for the 2023 NFL MVP, is set to become a free agent next offseason if he and the Cowboys can’t come to agreement on an extension between now and then. If Dallas wants to keep him, they’ll have to find a deal Prescott finds suitable due to the no-franchise-tag clause in his contract.

“He has more leverage than any other player in football when it comes to getting a deal done because, realistically, there’s not been many examples of a team losing a quarterback as talented as Dak Prescott for nothing in free agency,” Barnwell said. “Maybe Washington comes to mind with Kirk Cousins, and you’ve seen what happened since then. They’ve been wandering through the desert desperate for a quarterback.”

A misperception about Dak

Prescott has been labeled by some as a QB who can’t win the big game, but Barnwell isn’t a believer in that notion.

“I’m not one who puts a ton of stock into the can-they-win-at-the-highest-level thing, because it seems like a moving-the-goal-posts situation,” Barnwell said. “You say, ‘OK, Dak has to win the division title.’ Well, he won the division title. ‘OK, he has to win a playoff game.’ He’s won a playoff game. ‘He has to beat a real quarterback in a playoff game.’ He blew out Tom Brady in the postseason a couple of years ago in Tampa Bay, one of the best performances we saw all year for any quarterback from Dak Prescott in that game.”

Barnwell believes the Cowboys’ playoff struggles have more to do with the competition in the NFC rather than Prescott or even the Cowboys as a whole.

“To me, it’s not a question of there being something wrong Dak Prescott or something wrong with the Cowboys,” Barnwell said. “You only get so many shots. They aren’t really a great matchup for some more physical teams like the Niners and the Packers, and to me, if you’re Dak and you’re sitting here for the past couple of years, you thought, ‘Hey, maybe I don’t have what I need around me. Maybe there’s not a great enough team around me.’”

A price worth paying for Seahawks?

Barnwell said any Prescott-to-Seattle situation would hinge on the performance of Smith this season. He noted he sees Howell, last year’s starter for the Commanders, more as a good backup than an NFL starter.

“I really like Geno Smith,” Barnwell said. “I think he is an underrated quarterback. He is super accurate. I believe that he has proven himself over the last two seasons to be a very valuable NFL starting quarterback, but if you’re not getting sort of that premium of having a quarterback on a rookie deal – which Geno is not – I sort of wonder, are you better off paying 35 million a year for Geno, 40 million a year for Geno? Or do you want to pay a little more and get a quarterback who does have better numbers?”

Listen to the full conversation with ESPN NFL insider Bill Barnwell at this link or in the audio player near the top of this story. Tune in to Bump and Stacy weekdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

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