The Browns have engaged in initial extension negotiations with wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, sources tell Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Pryor is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
Pryor, 27, has become an offensive force in his first full season as a wide receiver, posting 33 receptions for 413 yards and three touchdowns. He’s also helped out at quarterback, tossing five passes for 41 yards, and has run the ball as a Wildcat option, putting up 21 yards and a score. And Pryor has expressed a willingness — and more precisely, a wish — to stay in Cleveland for the long-term, as he explained earlier this season.
“I respect him very highly and if Hue Jackson’s here, I’d love to stay here,” Pryor told Cabot in September. “I want to be here if Hue’s going to be here for awhile, because I know this is a building process — and it’s not really. We’re right the there. We’re competing with everybody, we’ve just got to put teams away and I’d like to be where Hue’s at.”
In the midst of a complete personnel overhaul, the Browns have been jettisoning veterans since the club’s new regime took over this spring, and let free agents such as Mitchell Schwartz, Alex Mack, Tashaun Gipson, and Travis Benjamin leave for other teams earlier this year. Whether Pryor is enticing enough to Cleveland’s front office to warrant a new deal is to be determined, but the team has enough money to lure him in. With nearly $50MM available for 2016, and more than $65MM in space free for the 2017 campaign, Cleveland ranks among the league leaders in financial wiggle room.
A restricted free agent, Pryor is currently earning $1.671MM after signing a qualifying offer during the offseason. He’d certainly be in for a raise via an extension, as starting wide receivers pulled in at least $5MM annually on the open market this spring. The Browns would also have the option of assigning Pryor the franchise tag, but that would come at a cost north of $15MM.
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