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NFL free agency rumors: Seahawks meeting with former Seahawk Terrelle Pryor

Seattle Seahawks v Oakland Raiders Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks signed receiver Jaron Brown on Friday, but that could not have possibly been there only answer to losing Paul Richardson. And certainly we are finding out that they aren’t done looking, as reports emerged on Saturday that they are set to meet with Terrelle Pryor,

Pryor was drafted as a quarterback out of Ohio State in 2011, with the Oakland Raiders using a third round supplemental choice on him. He did not play as a rookie, then made one start in 2012. He went 3-6 as a starter in 2013, throwing seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions, but did have a 93-yard touchdown run, the longest run in the NFL that season. Pryor refused to give up his dreams of playing quarterback however and was traded to the Seahawks in 2014 for a seventh round pick.

He was cut before Week 1 and ended up remaining a free agent for the entire season. Pryor would not give up his QB dreams, but the NFL did. He signed with the Chiefs and Bengals in 2015 but after being released by both, told teams he’d be willing to play receiver. This brought him to the Cleveland Browns, where he made the final 53-man roster as a receiver.

Pryor’s transition took some time as he had just one catch for 42 yards that season, but he returned in 2016 and caught 77 balls for 1,007 yards. Despite a 1-15 season and three different starting QBs, Pryor was productive while playing in the middle of a complete mess. And he had only been playing receiver for a little over a year. That was exciting, but as free agency hit in 2017, he was not as popular as he thought he’d be. Pryor signed a one-year, $6 million contract with Washington, looking to boost his value and hit free agency again in 2018 for a long-term deal.

Despite playing with Kirk Cousins and in an offense that just lost its top two receivers, Pryor’s value crumbled instead of flourishing; he had 20 catches for 240 yards, getting benched after six games and then being placed on injured reserve shortly thereafter.

At roughly 6’5, 230 lbs, with a 4.4 40-yard dash, Pryor is a unique individual. But he waited a long time to learn the receiver position and he’s been unable to grasp it (so to speak) with any consistency. Even in 2016, he only got to 1,007 yards on 140 targets (7.2 Y/Target is not great for a starting receiver, especially on the outside) and some of his best games came with Josh McCown at quarterback:

McCown only started three games for Cleveland and in two of them Pryor had exactly six catches on 12 targets, gaining 101 yards against the Jets and 131 yards against the Giants. Those were two of his three 100-yard games on the season, the other coming in a 30-24 loss to the Dolphins in which Pryor not only had 144 yards, but went 3-of-5 passing in place of Cody Kessler.

Those 144 yards came on 14 targets.

If paired with Russell Wilson (instead of backing him up this time), Pryor may find a similar groove to the one he had with McCown. Or he could find no groove, like what he experienced with Kirk Cousins, and not make the roster even if Seattle does sign him. At $6 million a year ago, Pryor must only be worth a small fraction of that today, with plenty of incentives on the next deal based on gameday bonuses and certain benchmarks.

However, he’s still only 28 and definitely worth a cheap, low-risk contract from some team. The Seahawks do make plenty of sense in that respect.