Cowboys News: Ezekiel Elliott Has 'No Concerns' About Contract Extension Talks

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2019

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 27: Runningback Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys from the NFC Team on the sidelines during the NFL Pro Bowl Game at Camping World Stadium on January 27, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. The AFC defeated the NFC 26 to 7. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott told reporters Wednesday he has "no concerns" about the status of his contract extension negotiations. 

He added that he plans to "just go out and play football and do what I've been doing" to avoid the distractions.

Earlier this month, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told Pro Football Talk (h/t NFL.com's Grant Gordon) that extension talks are a "work in progress:"

"I think those [contract extensions] are all a work in progress. Certainly we've got a couple years there with Zeke to get that done. We certainly want to get him done. He's the straw, if you will, that stirs our drink. He's a key part of what we're about. Those things take time to get done. They don't happen overnight. Certainly he is a priority in terms of ultimately getting him signed. There hasn't really been a timetable put on this."

Elliott, 23, is scheduled to make $3.9 million in 2019. The Cowboys exercised the fifth-year option of his rookie contract last month, which will pay him $9.1 million for the 2020 season. 

Elliott's new contract would almost certainly make him the league's highest-paid running back. From a financial perspective, it could make sense for the Cowboys to string contract talks into next season. Dallas also has the option of franchising Elliott in 2021, which would pay him the average of the five highest-paid players at the position.

The Cowboys could also take a lesson from the Los Angeles Rams, who extended Todd Gurley before anyone expected. The move placated Gurley's desire for a long-term contract while also allowing the team to get the high-guarantee years out of the way early. The Rams can get out of his contract in 2022 after his age-27 season.

It's essentially a choice between a Le'Veon Bell situation, in which the team's long-term interests are prioritized at the expense of its relationship with the player, or one similar to Gurley's in Los Angeles. Jones told reporters at the combine that the team is planning to pay Elliott at some point.

Based on his comments, it appears Elliott is taking this at face value. 

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