The recent injury suffered by Corey Coleman highlights the fact the Cleveland Browns may be missing Terrelle Pryor throughout the 2017 season.
In the eyes of most draft pundits, the Cleveland Browns have had a successful offseason on paper. Teams that are “winners” of the offseason rarely translate that into wins on the football field, but the Browns have shown the ability to prioritize locking up their homegrown talent in an effort to change the culture that festered for so many years prior.
There is one blemish, however, that has created a glaring need at a position that was perhaps the only bright spot of the team last year. And that is the failure to retain Terrelle Pryor.
Now I know there are specific details pertaining to both sides as to why an agreement never materialized, but the Browns playing hardball with their offers may have created an even bigger need for a wide receiver group that was average to begin with.
Corey Coleman has a lot to do with the lack of depth as well, as it has been widely reported that he will miss the remainder of OTAs due to injury.
After missing six games last year and an underwhelming rookie season, this is a player the Browns desperately need to be healthy this year. If Coleman ends up missing time during the year, it only intensifies the lack of depth even with the addition of Kenny Britt.
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A lot of Coleman’s rookie season woes came with poor quarterback play, but even as the second option to Pryor he failed to meet the expectations of a No. 15 overall pick outside of the fantastic game against Baltimore in Week 2.
The wide receiver expectations went from the “triple threat” of Josh Gordon, Terrelle Pryor, and Corey Coleman in last year’s offseason to a now-injured Corey Coleman, solid veteran pickup in Kenny Britt, and unproven second-year guys. It remains to be seen which other young wide receiver will step up to pick up some of the slack left behind by Pryor.
At the time, I was okay with the departure of Pryor but the thinking was that there were multiple avenues to find another dynamic option at receiver. Britt was acquired and will play well, but he’s not Pryor. The Browns didn’t draft a wide receiver and didn’t replace Pryor’s over-the-top threat and their production at the position may suffer. My question to the front office is:
Was it really worth it?
After having three months to see how the team is shaping up, there has to be some belief that the Browns should have retained Pryor even if only on a one-year deal. This team has added some players on defense and might actually have some decent quarterback play, so why create another need when the team already had so many?
Corey Coleman has shown that he can’t stay healthy at this moment, and Kenny Britt is past the point of carrying an entire receiver group the way A.J. Green or Antonio Brown can, so in my mind it was a mistake to let Pryor walk.
There’s always the chance that the Browns can re-sign him next year and it’s something I’ll advocate for given their cap space, familiarity, and the fact that Pryor love playing for Hue Jackson. Pryor just needs to prove to the NFL that he can be the $16 million receiver he thought he would be this year in free agency.
Until then, the Browns need to find someone to bring some playmaking ability to this receiver group or maybe one of the sophomore guys can step up or it is going to be a long year in the passing game for the Browns.