Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor is reportedly headed for the chopping block, but he would make a good acquisition for any number of teams. He could be cut as early as today if the Raiders are unable to deal him. The Pittsburgh area native asked to be traded after Oakland acquired former Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub this offseason.
Despite earning a reputation as one of the NFL’s most inconsistent passers, Pryor did meet with some success in 2013. He passed for 1,798 yards and seven touchdowns, and added another 576 yards and two touchdowns rushing. It appears to not have been enough, however, and, by picking up Schaub, the Raiders have decided that he is not the future of the silver and black. It has also been reported that Oakland might be looking to draft a quarterback.
No NFL team has expressed interest as of yet, but Pryor does have a lot going for him, even if he is still considered to be a project. There is always a place in the NFL for a mobile quarterback and he is among the league’s best. At 6’4″, 233 pounds and a reported 4.38 40-yard dash time, there are a slew of teams that could certainly use his unique skill set.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, for a whole host of reasons, could be one of them. Ben Roethlisberger is on the decline. A good chunk of his mobility, a staple of his game, has been lost each of the past two or three seasons, and with Landry Jones and Bruce Gradkowski at numbers two and three on the depth chart behind him, the Steelers are certainly in line for a quarterback like Pryor that can break a game open with his running ability. And in the third year of a rookie contract that pays him $705,000 annually, the 24-year-old does not come with a high price tag either.
The Buffalo Bills, who were saddled with injuries at the quarterback position last season, are also a possible suitor. The Bills traded for mobile quarterback Thad Lewis last season and also worked out free agents Pat White and Dennis Dixon. And Pryor is every bit the passer those three are. A young gun in E.J. Manuel has already cemented himself as the starter in Buffalo, though, so that might not be the best place for him to end up if he wants a shot at the start right out of the gate.
Then there is Cleveland, who always seems to be in need of a quarterback. With the departures of Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer, who is recovering from ACL surgery this offseason, is the only quarterback on the Browns’ depth chart to have started a game. That leaves the door wide open for Pryor to come in and win the start. The Browns are certain to draft at least one quarterback and as early as the 4th overall pick, but he does come with a good amount of experience and that is one thing sure to be lacking under center in Cleveland.
Commentary by Rick Sarlat