Ezekiel Elliott’s holdout has carried on through months of rumors and unconfirmed reports. It may finally be coming to an end, as Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys are reportedly “close” to an agreement for a six-year extension worth $90 million, per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
This would be a huge deal for both Zeke and the Cowboys. To put it in context, Elliott’s new deal would be worth $33 million more in total value than the next-highest contract, Todd Gurley, who checks in at $57.5 million in total value. The guaranteed numbers are what really matters in NFL contracts, and Gurley currently tops all running backs with $45 million total guaranteed. Saquon Barkley leads players at his position with $31 million fully guaranteed. Such details in Elliott’s contract remain unknown, but it’s a good bet he’ll be in Barkley’s neighborhood in terms of fully guaranteed money.
This news comes on the heels of big extensions for La'el Collins, and Jaylon Smith. Next up is either Dak Prescott or Amari Cooper. While Dallas has signaled all offseason they intend to sign every one of their trio of offensive superstars, they have a lot of money on the books with all of these extensions. Their negotiations with Prescott and Cooper will bear watching.
If this is the deal that comes to fruition, it will have pretty large implications on player empowerment in the NFL. Elliott held out with not one, but two years left on his contract, and was rewarded accordingly with a massive extension while remaining with Dallas until 2026. This kind of long-term, lucrative deal is rarely seen for running backs anymore. This will be seen as a landmark deal for elite running backs in the future, and perhaps a blueprint for how things will unfold between Barkley and the New York Giants.