How Prescott and Watson contracts expose glaring flaws in NFL compensation

Dak Prescott signed a huge extension. Composite image by Jack Brame.

Well, it didn't take long for the Texans' $39 million-a-year quarterback Deshaun Watson to be underpaid.

Dak Prescott signed a contract Monday that will pay him $160 million over four years, with $126 million of it guaranteed, plus a $66 million signing bonus up front. That's an all-time NFL record for an autograph. Next season, all-in, Prescott will make $75 million. That's for one season.

This isn't to say that our guy (for now) Watson is working for minimum wage. He's the third highest-earning quarterback in the league. Last year, Watson signed a four-year, $156 million deal that will pay him $39 million per year, with $111 million guaranteed, and a $27 million signing bonus. Prescott beats him in line item.

Only the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback has a richer contract, $450 million over 10 years. With bonuses and incentives, Patrick Mahomes' deal could be worth more than a half a billion bucks.

Prescott and Watson's situations may be the better deal in the long run. Prescott will be 31 and Watson only 29 when they're ready for a new contract. With TV contracts expiring, ticket prices soaring and the stock market booming, the sky may be the limit for Prescott and Watson.

Consider this, Jerry Jones paid $154 million to buy the Dallas Cowboys, the whole team, in 1989. He will pay Prescott, one player, more than that the next four years.

Let's compare apples to apples, Prescott to Watson. Prescott makes more per year, has more money guaranteed and a bigger signing bonus. Plus Prescott has better receivers, better running backs, better offensive linemen and plays for a better team with a better owner.

To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld flying in first class: better everything!

There's only one problem with the comparison: Prescott ain't better than Watson.

Prescott's best year was in 2019, when he threw for 30 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. The Cowboys went 8-8 that year.

Last year, Watson threw 33 touchdowns and with only seven completions to the other team. You don't need to be reminded that the Texans finished with a sucky 4-12 record.

Watson is faster, has a cannon arm and is a lifelong winner, at least until the Texans got hold of him. He's two years younger than Prescott. He's a more accurate passer, and a better deep ball heaver. He has a higher career completion percentage and higher passing rating. Nobody beats Professor Watson's post-game interviews.

Here's how you can determine who's the better quarterback. If things were normal (they're not), and Jerry Jones called Punkin' Cal McNair and offered to trade Prescott for Watson, the Texans would say no thanks. The Cowboys would take the deal and probably hornswoggle the Texans into throwing in draft picks and a sno-cone.

Of course this is a moot scenario because Watson wants out of Houston. The Texans are playing hardball, insisting they have no intention of trading Watson, which is the cherry on top of the Texans' stupid streak regarding their star quarterback. The Texans will embarrass themselves a few more times, but there will be somebody else playing quarterback next season.

Here are other quarterbacks making more than $30 million per year: Russell Wilson ($35 million), Jared Goff ($33.5 million), Aaron Rodgers ($33.5 million), Kirk Cousins ($33 million), Carson Wentz ($32 million) and Matt Ryan ($30 million). In cases like Wentz and Goff, it's like they say in those TV commercials for stock brokerages: past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Meanwhile, there's a quarterback in Tampa Bay who's playing for relative peanuts. Some guy named Tom something makes only $25 million. Haven't heard much about him lately, though.

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The losing streak continues

Mariners get walk-off win over short-staffed Astros

Alex De Goti had an impressive debut. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

After a brutal homestand capped off by losing five players to the IL for health and safety protocols, the once 5-1 Astros brought their now 6-6 record to T-Mobile park in Seattle to try and right the ship. They'd have to do it with new and young players in the lineup using the "next man up" mentality to get some wins against the first-place Mariners.

Though the young bats would work themselves into a lead most of the night, Houston's bullpen wouldn't be able to hold the Mariners down, with Seattle ultimately walking things off in the ninth.

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 6-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Anthony Misiewicz (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (0-1)

After a quiet start, Houston gets three in the fifth

After cruising through the Astros through the first four innings, allowing only a walk over that span, Houston was able to put up a big inning against Yusei Kikuchi in the top of the fifth. Carlos Correa notched the first hit of the night, followed by a walk by Taylor Jones to put two on base.

That brought Alex De Goti, making his major-league debut, to the plate and, in his second career at-bat, would get his first hit and RBI, bringing in Correa from second on a single. A second run would come on the same play on a throwing error, then Chaz McCormick made it a three-run inning with an RBI-double, putting Houston out front 3-0.

Urquidy comes an out shy of a quality start

Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy was doing well through five innings. On track for a much-needed quality start, the Mariners would tag him in the bottom of the sixth, getting three-straight hits to bring in two runs to lead off the frame and leaving a runner on second base with no outs.

Urquidy would rebound to get the next two batters on strikeouts, but at 90 pitches and with a left-handed hitter up next, Dusty Baker would bring in lefty Brooks Raley to try and get out of the inning with the one-run lead intact. Raley would do his job, putting Uruidy's line final: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 90 P.

Teams trade two-run seventh innings

The young bats for Houston struck again in the top of the seventh, with Jones and De Goti leading it off with back-to-back singles before Jason Castro would load the bases with a walk. With two outs, Aledmys Diaz would push the lead back to three with a two-RBI single, making it 5-2.

With Raley out after facing his one batter, next out of Houston's bullpen was Bryan Abreu to help maintain Houston's lead. Instead, he would give up two runs on two hits and a walk while getting just two outs before Baker moved on to Blake Taylor, who would get the last out of the seventh with Houston hanging on to a one-run lead at 5-4.

Mariners get the walk-off win

Taylor remained in the game in the bottom of the eighth, and after getting an out, would allow a game-tying solo home run to Evan White before injuring himself trying to field an infield single. Ryne Stanek entered and finished off the eighth, sending the tie game to the ninth.

After Houston came up empty in the top half, Stanek remained in the game in the bottom of the ninth, attempting to force extras. Back-to-back walks ended Stanek's night, with the Astros hoping Ryan Pressly could bail them out. He couldn't, though, giving up the walk-off hit as the Mariners would take the opener, 6-5.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set will start an hour earlier on Saturday, with first pitch at 8:10 PM Central. Zack Greinke (1-1, 4.08 ERA) will try to rebound from a poor start his last time out for the Astros, while the Mariners will hand the ball to Chris Flexen (1-0, 4.50 ERA).

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