Despite saying he wanted to stay in Cleveland and help the Browns improve under head coach Hue Jackson, the Browns did not retain wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. Pryor has signed with Washington, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Pryor was the Browns’ leading receiver in 2016, finishing the 1-16 season with 1,007 yards and four touchdowns. The former Ohio State quarterback was also pressed into action as a signal caller for Cleveland due to catastrophic and varied injuries to everyone on the depth chart at that position.
According to Schefter, it’s a short deal:
Washington giving WR Terrelle Pryor a one-year, $8 million deal, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2017
The Browns had the option of applying the franchise tag to Pryor if it became necessary. According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, the team wished to avoid that and work out a deal if at all possible. The fact that Pryor was eager to remain in Cleveland should have smoothed the negotiation process, but it apparently didn’t.
Cleveland could have also applied the transition tag to Pryor, which would have given them the right of first refusal if another team tried to sign him.
Head coach Hue Jackson was the primary reason for Pryor’s desire to stay in Cleveland. Along with teammate Joe Thomas, Pryor stated that he wanted to be a part of the Browns’ rebuilding effort under Jackson.
"I have no problem with, just because we were 1-15 or whatever this year, coming back,'' Pryor said, via Cabot. "I don't mind starting fresh next year and continuing to grow, because I think it's more exciting when you're on the bottom.
“I'm always citing starting from the bottom and getting to the top, and I think it's a greater feeling and it would be great to give Cleveland what they're looking for.''
Pryor understands starting from the bottom. After being banned from Ohio State’s program by the NCAA for his involvement in the Tattoogate scandal, Pryor entered the supplemental draft in 2011.
Jackson, then the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, was instrumental in the team’s decision to select Pryor in the third round of the supplemental draft.
"This relationship with me and him goes way back to 2011,'' Jackson said about Pryor. "There are a lot of things I know about Terrelle that maybe a lot of people don't. I'm talking about as far as what he is really capable of doing. I would say to all of you that he hasn't even scratched the surface of what he is.”
Pryor certainly seemed to live up to his potential in 2016, but the Browns decided to move on from him.