Recent reports on Ezekiel Elliott gave a peek behind the curtain on the running back’s mindset going into this offseason that could see him leaving the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys are in a tough spot with Elliott. The 27-year-old is due to be a $16.7 million cap hit in 2023. That’s the fifth-highest number on the team.
The problem is Elliott’s lack of production in 2022. Last season, Zeke had career-lows in carries and rushing yards, and was only effective in short yardage situations and pass protection.
It’s obvious he’s not worth the money he’s due to make next season, and after the Cowboys lost in the playoffs, reports said Elliott would be open to a pay cut to stay in Dallas. But Elliott’s agent is now singing a different tune.
Zeke To Weigh Options At NFL Combine
Earlier this week, insider Adam Schefter appeared on NFL Live. Schefter said Zeke’s agents will attend the NFL Combine in less than two weeks.
While there, Elliott’s agents will determine if there’s a team willing to spend big on the RB if he’s released by Dallas. Here’s the full quote from Schefty:
“What’s going to happen here is that at the combine, Ezekiel Elliott’s agents have to figure out his value to other teams, in what looks like a deep free-agent running back class, at a time where other teams are not really willing to pay top dollar for running backs. And if he determines that there’s not some big money out there with another team, then the best and simplest thing would be to keep Ezekiel in Dallas on a restructured deal.”
Schefter went on to say if a team is willing to pay Zeke big bucks, then he’ll likely refuse to restructure his deal with the ‘Boys and let the team release him. But if he has no new suitors, it would be beneficial to both sides to restructure Elliott’s contract.
Deep Free Agent RB Class Hurts Elliott
It’s unlikely any team will show interest in paying as much as Elliott would make with Dallas, even on a new deal. Then when you consider how many solid free agent RBs are available this offseason, Zeke’s chances of getting significant money elsewhere are further diminished.
Here are some of the names on the market:
- Saquon Barkley
- Kareem Hunt
- Josh Jacobs
- Miles Sanders
- David Montgomery
Of course, nobody would expect Elliott to demand as much money as those players. But a deep RB class only makes Elliott a less desirable option in the eyes of other general managers.