Terrelle Pryor will have chance to be Raiders starting quarterback

USA TODAY Sports

Does former Buckeye Terrelle Pryor have what it takes to be the starting quarterback for the Raiders?

The Oakland Raiders aren't locked in to a starting quarterback for the 2013 season. That gives Terrelle Pryor plenty of time to win the job.

Pryor will compete for the starting job during training camp and preseason, according to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said Pryor will be given every chance to win the job, no matter who else is on the QB depth chart:

"He needs to see if he can take a game over in the preseason, make some plays and carry out a game plan," McKenzie told me and co-host Jim Miller on Sirius XM NFL Radio. "Let him compete. That's what it's all about. If it looks like he can help us win, at the end of the day, that's what it's all about. That's what we want."

Pryor started the last game of the season for the Raiders against the San Diego Chargers. He was 13-of-28 for 150 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also produced on the ground, rushing for 49 yards and a touchdown on nine attempts.

The final stats don't wow the average person, but Raiders head coach Dennis Allen thought the young quarterback "had a solid presence and demeanor on the field."

Meanwhile, SB Nation's Silver and Black Pride had mixed feelings on Pryor's first start:

It was very much a "mixed bag" as Pryor said of his performance after the game. But the most important thing was getting him out there on the field in a regular season game to get a proper evaluation of him. He said earlier this week that he felt like a leader in the huddle in practice all week. He brought some of that to the field today and it showed. But it was not perfect and he would be the first to tell you that.

Pryor made headlines when he was the starting quarterback at Ohio State. He, along with teammates, allegedly received improper benefits. Before he could serve his five-game suspension, Pryor withdrew from Ohio State in June 2011 and entered the NFL's Supplemental Draft.

Fortunately for Pryor, his season-ending performance against the Bolts actually means something, because the quarterback job very well could be a toss up at this point.

Carson Palmer was the regular starter for the Raiders last year, but he didn't seem to do much to help the team's fortunes. The 33-year-old completed 61 percent of his passes for 4,018 yards and 22 touchdowns. He threw 14 interceptions. The numbers weren't particularly bad, but the team was just 4-11 behind Palmer.

Does Pryor, with his ability to run, give the team a better chance to win?

If the Raiders think so, they could cut Palmer, who is owed $13 million next season. That would free up some cap to allow the Raiders to sign some weapons for Pryor in free agency.

The Raiders also had Matt Leinart as a backup this season, but he's set to become an unrestricted free agent. He played in just two games in 2012, throwing for 115 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.

If Darren McFadden can stay healthy and Pryor can improve on his first NFL start, the Raiders could have an exciting offense next season. Add a wide receiver to the mix, and the Raiders could compete in the AFC West.

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