Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor had a career season with the Cleveland Browns in 2016, but surprisingly left in free agency. He explained why he made the decision and why he wishes he would have stayed.
There were few bright spots during the 2016 season for the Cleveland Browns, as they finished the season 1-15. But the one player that stood out and made a name for himself was wide receiver Terrelle Pryor.
Pryor was the Browns best play-maker that season, catching 77 passes for 1,077 yards and four touchdowns. The 2016 season was Pryor’s first full season at wide receiver after transitioning from being a quarterback.
Pryor was a free agent following the season, and it seemed like a guarantee the Browns would re-sign him. However, Pryor signed a one-year deal with the Washington Redskins. It was shocking to those that followed the Cleveland Browns that they would not re-sign Pryor, considering how well he played.
On Friday, Pryor explained during an interview with Joe Thomas and Andrew Hawkins on their podcast, The ThomaHawk Show, why he did not re-sign with Cleveland during the 2017 off-season.
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Pryor would later go on to say that the “bad advice” was his agents believing that his market should have been set close to what the franchise tag would have been for a wide receiver. In 2017, the franchise tag for a wide receiver was $15.682 million.
Since Pryor only had one season of being a NFL wide receiver under his belt – albeit a good season – there was not a team willing to offer Pryor money that came close to the $15 million price tag. Pryor had to settle for a one-year, $8 million contract.
The Browns reportedly offered Pryor a four-year, $32 million contract – the same average annual value that he received from the Redskins. But when Pryor did not accept the Browns offer, Cleveland moved on and signed Kenny Britt to the same contract they reportedly offered Pryor.
Once Pryor’s market did not develop like his team expected, he reportedly went back to the Browns to give them one more chance at re-signing him. But Cleveland offered less money than their initial offer, leading Pryor to sign with Washington.
The move did not pay off for the Browns since Britt did not gel with the young team at all. Britt played nine games for the Browns, catching 18 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns. He was regularly seen running his routes at half-speed and dropping most of the passes thrown his way. He was cut on John Dorsey’s first day as general manager.
Pryor also did not have a successful 2017 season with Washington. Pryor also played only nine games, catching 20 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown. Washington decided to let Pryor walk in free agency during the 2018 off-season, where he signed with the Jets.
2018 was a tumultuous season for Pryor as he struggled with a groin injury for most of the year. Pryor was with the Jets for only six games before he was cut. He then signed with the Buffalo Bills and played in two games. He missed the rest of the season due to his groin injury.
Pryor’s career could have gone in a different direction had he re-signed with the Browns in 2017. He understood the offense and showed that he could make plays in the offense despite poor quarterback play.
But instead, he believed that signing a long-term deal worth eight million dollars a year would have hurt him in the long run. He felt he was a top wide receiver and signing the contract the Browns offered would not have let him receive the money that he felt he deserved.
With a new regime and coaching staff in Cleveland, Pryor no longer has connections with the Browns, besides Andrew Berry and Paul DePodesta in the front office. So even if he still wants to come to back to Cleveland, it is hard to see that scenario actually happening.