The Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott aren’t close to reaching an agreement on a new contract, even though the 24-year-old running back plans to hold out until he has a new deal that he’s happy with.
NFL Network reported Wednesday that the two sides are far apart on “everything,” including the length of the deal and guarantees.
How close is this Zeke deal to getting done? A source informed told me, “close? Nope.” So, what are the sticking points? The guarantee? Length? “Everything” #ZekeWatch
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) July 31, 2019
The report comes after ESPN noted Tuesday that the negotiations have been progressing slowly, but if they “continue on the same track,” Elliott could become the highest paid running back in the league.
Elliott, who has spent his entire career with the Cowboys after being selected fourth overall in the 2016 draft, officially became a holdout Friday when he did not report for the opening of Cowboys’ training camp in Oxnard, California.
He has two years remaining on his rookie contract, and reportedly is seeking a record-setting deal that would exceed Todd Gurley’s four-year, $57.5 million deal with the Rams.
The Cowboys said during the offseason that they are hopeful to reach a new deal and keep Elliott long term, however, Dallas’ executives also have reiterated that it’ll take time to reach an agreement.
Cowboys executive vice president and CEO Stephen Jones and coach Jason Garrett fielded questions last week about their running back’s absence, insisting Dallas is focused only on the players who showed up to training camp.
“We are focused on the guys who are here,” Garrett said. “We’re not going to focus on the business of football.”
Jones added: “It’s going to do no good to address this situation every day, but we will be working on (a contract) behind the scenes.”
Elliott is set to earn a base salary of $3.9 million for 2019, and the team last month picked up the fifth-year option of his rookie contract that will pay him $9.1 million for 2020.
He earned his second rushing title in three years with 1,434 yards on a league-high 304 carries with six touchdowns last season, while adding 77 receptions for 567 yards with three touchdowns.