Could New England Patriots be eyeing Dak Prescott in 2025?

The New England Patriots don’t have their long-term quarterback in place, and Dak Prescott isn’t expected to sign an extension with the Dallas Cowboys this offseason.

Are these two situations related?

On Thursday’s edition of “First Things First,” Nick Wright opined why they may indeed be.

“The Patriots right now are on the books for almost $200 million in cap space next year, $200 million in space, so there’s only seven other teams that have even $100 million; nobody’s got even more than $130 [million] … what if the Patriots traded the pick at [No.] 3, particularly if Drake Maye’s there because then people want it even more because people seem to love him. 

“Say he’s traded to Minnesota for [picks No.] 11 and 23 and something, draft a tackle there, whether it’s [Joe] Alt or [Taliese] Fuaga, draft one of the many stud wide receivers in this class at [No.] 23 and have the plan be ‘we’re gonna sign Dak Prescott,'” Wright said. 

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“He’s an unrestricted free agent [in 2025], and the whole idea behind what the Cowboys’ problem is and a lot of teams’ problem is ‘well, you’re going to have to pay him $60 million a year, and it’s got to be backloaded because we don’t have the room. It’s gonna be like $30 million, then $65 [million], then $70 [million]. We wouldn’t have to do that if we’re the Patriots. We could do the rare frontloaded deal where his first year the cap hit’s $75 million if we want it to be, and then it goes down. 

“You’re building the team; you’re building the culture; the Cowboys couldn’t stop ya. It seems that he’s going to be available. Teams with cap space are not going to be at the front of the line for him. Could that be the Patriots’ plan? Trade down, build the team, install a culture and then install an older, known quantity at quarterback next season.”

After a 4-13 campaign — their worst since 1992 — the Patriots own the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. USC quarterback and 2022 Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams is expected to be selected by the Chicago Bears at No. 1, with Maye, 2023 Heisman Trophy winner and LSU star Jayden Daniels and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy among the quarterbacks in the mix to go to the Washington Commanders at No. 2 and New England at No. 3.

The Patriots are expected to take a quarterback at No. 3, a notion reinforced by them trading Mac Jones to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a sixth-round draft pick earlier this month and signing veteran Jacoby Brissett to a one-year, $8 million deal. That said, there appears to be a handful of teams interested in trading up for a quarterback, including the Vikings, Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders.

New England’s offseason has been primarily focused on keeping its own, as re-signing offensive lineman Mike Onwenu, tight end Hunter Henry, linebackers Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings and wide receiver Kendrick Bourne have been among the franchise’s most expensive moves.

Prescott, who will be 31 at the start of the 2024 NFL season, is entering the final campaign of a four-year, $160 million deal. A three-time Pro Bowler, Prescott is coming off one of his best regular-season campaigns, as he totaled 4,516 passing yards, an NFL-high 36 passing touchdowns, nine interceptions and a career-best 105.9 passer rating, while completing a career-best 69.5% of his passes in 2023. He also ran for 242 yards and two touchdowns.

The Cowboys lost at home to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC wild-card round, making the former 2-5 in the playoffs with Prescott under center — which may be part of the reason why the two sides haven’t agreed to a new deal.

While Patriots owner Robert Kraft recently said that he wants a “top-rate young quarterback,” Prescott would potentially fit the first half of that description.

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