The Dallas Cowboys could offer a star a big-money deal.
As Jon Machota of The Athletic writes, the Cowboys have a number of star players due for contract extensions. One of those notable players is none other than linebacker Micah Parsons. While the priority in getting an extension done for Parsons is last among the six players listed, Machota predicts that Parsons will land the second-highest deal of any of the Cowboys’ veterans, projecting him to earn $35 million annually.
That would not only make Parsons the highest-earning edge rusher, it would make him the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL.
“As long as he continues to produce like he has his first two seasons, he’s on track to become the NFL’s highest-paid defender,” writes Machota. “There’s no way the Cowboys can allow him to walk out the door if he continues to consistently wreck games and make their defense one of the best in the league. As long as Parsons continues to produce, this will get done. And it’s going to be expensive. The highest-paid defensive player is currently Aaron Donald at $31.6 million per season. By the time the Cowboys pay Parsons, that number could be in the neighborhood of $35 million per season.”
Micah Parsons Expected to Become Highest-Paid Defensive Player
The projection actually isn’t that far off from Bill Barnwell of ESPN’s prediction of Parsons’ second contract. Barnwell expects Parsons to land at $32 million annually, which would still make him the highest-paid defensive player league and several million above the highest-paid edge rushers on the list.
“The player at the top of the edge rusher market is (Pittsburgh’s) T.J. Watt, whose deal averages just over $28 million per season,” Barnwell writes. “Nick Bosa (of the Niners) is likely to become the first defensive player to average $30 million per season on a new deal when he signs an extension this offseason. Parsons is eligible for his own extension next year, and barring catastrophic injury, it should come in somewhere around $32 million per season.”
Parsons has three years left on his rookie deal which pays him just $4.7 million this season and $5.5 million next year.
Why Micah Parsons is Due For Big-Money Contract
The 2021 first-round draft pick has emerged as arguably the best edge rusher in the league over the past two seasons. Not only is Parsons clearly the best player on defense, he’s arguably the best player on the entire team. The 24-year-old racked up 13 sacks in his rookie season and posted 13.5 sacks last year.
His accolades are numerous, racking up two consecutive seasons of Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro selections to go along with a Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
According to Pro Football Focus, Parsons posted a 91.6 defensive grade last season, even better than the 89.8 defensive grade he produced during his rookie season in 2021. Parsons ranked second in the NFL in defensive grade last season, only behind the Cleveland Browns‘ Myles Garrett. His 92.1 pass-rushing grade also ranked second, only behind Garrett.
While the numbers will be sorted out at a later date, it’s hard not to expect Parsons to emerge as the highest-paid defensive player in the league once he signs his extension.