On Terrelle Pryor

Hey, Geoff! Didn’t you overlook Terrelle Pryor?
Doesn’t he need a big game tonight?

I didn’t overlook him– I successfully blotted him out. If this were any city other than the one closest to The Ohio State University, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Pryor is 26. He played abysmally at Oakland — I mean Rex Grossman and Kyle Boller bad. He was out of the NFL last year– and not for want of trying:

  • When the Raiders gave up on him, they traded him to Seattle for a #7 pick.
  • After the Seahawks cut him at the end of training camp, he worked out for Cincinnati, Philly, the Giants and Washington. None of them wanted to sign him
  • This January, he signed with the Chiefs; they cut him in May.
  • He signed with Cincinnati in May; they cut him in June.

So that’s Dennis Allen, Pete Carroll, Marvin Lewis (twice), Chip Kelly, Tom Coughlin, Jay Gruden and Andy Reid who think he can’t play. You really think all those guys are wrong about him?

Is he a viable receiver?

No. He’s never played the position– who would you possibly imagine he would be?
I’ve never understood this “Put the scrambling black quarterback at wide receiver” business. Didn’t get it when the Browns had Josh Cribbs. He can run; why not try him at running back?

Isn’t he too tall to be a running back?

Isn’t a guy who’s never played receiver too inexperienced to be a wide receiver?

But he’s a good athlete– he played basketball.

They why can’t he play linebacker?

Seriously, receiver requires sprinter speed and the ability to make sudden, quick cuts. He’s too big to do that, which is why he jacked up his hamstring.

So you’re not interested in him at all?

Normally I wouldn’t be. But since (1) the Browns are down to two healthy quarterbacks, (2) he played for Offensive Coordinator John De Felippo at Oakland and (3) fans around here would be a lot more patient with him than Pat Devlin, I might keep him just in case.

We’ve seen worse. Not much worse, but a bit.

What about RGIII? What about Tim Tebow?

Yeah, that’s just who they need. Two other guys who arrive with entourages and egos, can’t run a normal NFL offense, don’t throw basic passes well and always want to shake and bake.

Why not JaMarcus Russell, while we’re at it? He’s only 30.

So what would you do? 

There isn’t really anything you can do at this point. Nobody will trade you a quarterback who’s any good a few weeks before the season begins.

The best you might get is a guy on the last year of his rookie or free agent contract– someone the team already knows it will not retain– in return for a draft pick high enough to make the risk interesting.

Oakland might trade you Matt McGloin or Christian Ponder for a #4 or a #5, Wanna try that?

No thanks. What about Mettenberger?

For one thing, Tennessee won’t trade him. For another, he’s got one year left on his deal; he’d leave the day after the season. Cleveland is the NFL’s answer to Siberia– nobody will stay unless you pay them a ridiculous amount. Even then, players who want to win won’t come. The only team that have missed the playoffs more times is Buffalo.

Oakland is tied with Cleveland.

But the Raiders went to the Super Bowl the last time they made the playoffs– the Browns lost a Wild Card Game. Plus the Raiders are in California.

You can’t think of a single idea?

Not at this time. Someone will probably be available when teams make cutdowns, but I have no idea who. Philly has Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley and Tebow. Maybe one of them, it they hit the street. Rex Ryan might cut E.J. Manuel. Maybe New Orleans will cut Luke McCown– we could collect the set.

You think it’s funny?

No, it’s sad. The Browns, knowing that Johnny Manziel might get suspended for violating the drug policy, didn’t pick a player who could at least be mediocre for a year. Instead they picked a guy who could play so badly that a team might be unable to play him. Then they got two undersized backups– the type likely to get hurt. And Connor Shaw was injured last year, so they knew he could get hurt.

They’re getting what they deserved, and all they can do not is pray or wait to dumpster dive on the cuts. This won’t end well, but there is nothing anyone can do


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