Terrelle Pryor

Browns Refused Final Chance To Sign Pryor

Prior to signing his one-year contract with the Redskins, wideout Terrelle Pryor gave the Browns one last chance to sign him, reports Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Last week, Cabot reported that Pryor never went back to the organization to see if they’d match, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Terrelle PryorThe reporter notes that the Browns had reduced their offer the second time around, prompting Pryor to take Washington’s $6MM offer (plus a $3MM signing bonus and $2MM in incentives). The receiver ultimately wanted to stay in Cleveland, and he was holding out in hopes that the Browns would increase their four-year offer.

While the Browns wanted to keep Pryor, they weren’t willing to meet his demands. The team was willing to hand out a long-term deal worth around $8.5MM annually, but that compromised the wideout’s flexibility. Considering his desire to stay in Cleveland, we can assume that he would have given the team a hometown discount. However, the annual salary clearly didn’t meet Pryor’s requirements for a long-term deal.

The receiver had also received offers of $10MM and $11MM, according to Cabot, but the 27-year-old had no interest in locking himself into a long-term contract. Rather, Pryor preferred to hit free agency next offseason and fetch a contract that approaches $15MM a season. Pryor also didn’t accept those early offers because he intended to stay with Cleveland, but the Browns’ unwillingness to budge led to him signing with the Redskins.

Consistent play at quarterback would presumably boost Pryor’s value in 2018. Despite playing with five different quarterbacks last season, the former signal-caller had a breakout campaign. He finished the year with 77 receptions for 1,004 yards and four touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Wanted To Keep Terrelle Pryor

Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor signed with the Redskins on Friday, which came after he insisted throughout last season that he wanted to remain with the Browns. However, after Washington offered Pryor a one-year deal worth up to $8MM, he never went back to the Browns to see if they’d match it, reports Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. The Browns likely would have done so had he given them the opportunity, per Cabot.

Terrelle Pryor

Fresh off a breakout 2016, his first full season as a receiver after converting from the quarterback position, the expectation was that Pryor would sign a far richer deal. He had designs on a pact worth up to $15MM per annum, according to Cabot, who adds that Cleveland’s original proposal was worth $8MM to $9MM annually. While Cabot doesn’t specify the length of the offer, Tony Grossi of ESPN.com writes that the Browns were willing to give Pryor $17MM in guarantees. One could surmise, then, that the Browns had a four-year offer on the table. After all, they handed fellow free agent wideout Kenny Britt $17MM in guarantees Thursday on a four-year, $32.5MM accord.

Going forward, a quality showing for Pryor in 2017 – his age-28 season – should lead to a much better payday by next March. Despite having to catch passes from five less-than-ideal quarterback options last year, Pryor hauled in 77 receptions for 1,004 yards and four touchdowns. The Redskins, meanwhile, have an established signal-caller, Kirk Cousins, who’s coming off a near-5,000-yard season. Cousins is among the NFL’s most prolific gunslingers, and if the Redskins don’t trade the franchise-tagged passer by next season, Pryor shouldn’t have difficulty producing in Washington’s offense and making his case for a multiyear deal in the process.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Sign Terrelle Pryor

The Redskins have signed Terrelle Pryor, He’ll get a one-year deal worth up to $8MM in 2017, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter) and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The full breakdown is less a little less favorable: he gets a $3MM signing bonus and a $3MM base salary ($6MM in effective guarantees), plus $2MM in bonuses, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Florio hears those are “easily attainable” bonuses while Jason La Canfora of CBSSports (on Twitter) hears they are not likely to be earned."<strong

Washington lost both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, with their pair of 1,000-yard receivers agreeing to join the Buccaneers and 49ers, respectively. Washington became the first team in NFL history to lose two 1,000-yard wide receivers in the same offseason. Today, they softened the blow by adding another 1,000+ yard receiver.

Pryor emerged as one of 2016’s top breakout players, going for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns on a team with arguably the worst quarterback situation in football.

Heading into free agency, the expectation was that Pryor would cash in on a multi-year deal. Instead, he has settled for a one-year prove-it contract. Agent Drew Rosenhaus tried to push the Browns to pay Pryor like a star, but the Browns held their ground. They instead signed Kenny Britt to a multi-year free agent deal and left Pryor with a softer market.

This week, we’ve seen wide receivers largely fall flat on what was hyped up to be a booming market at the top. Alshon Jeffery signed a one-year, $14MM deal with the Eagles and Kenny Stills re-upped with the Dolphins on a four-year, $32MM pact. Heading into this week, there was buzz of Stills getting $12MM annually and Pryor not being far behind. Instead, this year’s best WRs had to settle for less. The only top receiver that met or perhaps exceeded expectations was Britt.

The agreement was first reported by JP Finlay of CSNWashington (on Twitter). 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Terrelle Pryor To Visit Redskins

The Redskins lost both of their starting receivers in free agency but will attempt to land another high-upside target. Terrelle Pryor will visit Washington, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

Washington lost both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, with their pair of 1,000-yard receivers agreeing to join the Buccaneers and 49ers, respectively. Pryor emerged as one of 2016’s top breakout players, going for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns on a team with arguably the worst quarterback situation in football.

Pryor and the Browns engaged in discussions this offseason, but Cleveland agreed to sign Kenny Britt earlier today, leaving Pryor’s role murky. The former Ohio State and Raiders quarterback is not expected to re-sign with the Browns. Pryor will turn 28 in June but is still nearly three years younger than both Garcon and Jackson. Washington, though, is the first team to lose two 1,000-yard wide receivers in the same offseason.

 

Browns Still In On Terrelle Pryor?

Although the Browns have already agreed to sign wide receiver Kenny Britt, they’re not completely out of the race for fellow pass-catcher Terrelle Pryor, tweets Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. It still appears “unlikely” that Cleveland will re-sign Pryor, however. Mike Garafolo of NFL.com echoes this sentiment, pointing toward a future that sees Pryor depart northeast Ohio (Twitter link).Terrelle Pryor (Vertical)

The Browns opted not to use the franchise nor the transition tag on Pryor, instead allowing him to become a free agent despite possessing gobs of cap space. While reports have indicated Pryor is looking for $12MM on the open market, it’s unclear if any club is actually willing to meet that demand — indeed, his ceiling may be in the $10MM range. So far, he’s been linked to the Steelers, Giants, 49ers, Eagles, and Titans.

As a 27-year-old who possesses size (6-foot-4, 223 pounds) and speed, Pryor is one of the most attractive free agent receivers on the market. Despite having to work with five quarterbacks in 2016, most of whom were mediocre or worse, Pryor (an ex-QB himself) piled up 77 receptions, 1,007 yards and four touchdowns on 140 targets in his first serious action as a receiver.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

La Canfora’s Latest: Seahawks, Campbell

CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora writes that the Seahawks are zeroing in on offensive linemen and running backs. However, La Canfora notes that the team won’t overpay for the positions.

The team is “high” on Packers guard T.J. Lang but isn’t expected to offer anything “crazy.” Meanwhile, besides Adrian Peterson, the Seahawks are “monitoring” LeGarrette Blount and Benny Cunningham.

Let’s take a look at some other notable tidbits from La Canfora’s latest column…

  • The Jets, Browns, Ravens and Redskins are among the main teams seeking help at safety. Tony Jefferson is atop our list of the top available safeties, followed by Duron Harmon.
  • La Canfora says he wouldn’t be surprised if Calais Campbell lands with either the Buccaneers or the Jaguars. The Jaguars were previously linked to the Cardinals defensive end, while the Buccaneers were reportedly eying free agent Chris Baker.
  • The writer isn’t convinced that there’s a team besides the Browns that would be willing to pay receiver Terrelle Pryor more than $10MM a season.

PFR’s Top 50 NFL Free Agents

It’s free agency week! This year, thanks to the salary cap increase, the dollars will be flying and players will make more than you ever could have expected. Our lists for offense and defense rank free agents based on overall ability, but our Top 50 ranks players based on earning power. Here, you’ll get a good sense of what the market will be like this week and who the big fish are.

The league’s “legal tampering” window will open on Tuesday at 11:00am CT. Technically, teams and players aren’t permitted to finalize agreements on contracts during that legal tampering window, but that’s often treated as a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule. We will almost certainly see handshake agreements go down on Tuesday and Wednesday before they become official on Thursday, the technical beginning of free agency.

Our list of 2017’s top 50 free agents doesn’t include restricted free agents, or franchise tagged players, since they’re effectively restricted free agents as well.

With those caveats out of the way, let’s dive right in! Here are Pro Football Rumors’ top 50 NFL free agents for 2017, along with a few predictions on how much they might earn and what teams could be in the mix to sign them:

1. A.J. Bouye, CB (Texans): Bouye is an overnight sensation, going from unknown to elite talent in the blink of an eye. No one knows exactly what to make of Bouye, but his upside is too much for teams to pass up. The Texans declined to use the franchise tag on the 25-year-old (26 in August), but they’re still hoping to get a deal done this week. The Jets are said to have interest, but it’s not clear if they’ll have the room to get something done. Cornerback-needy teams like the Panthers, Saints, Jaguars, Titans, Bears, and Eagles can be expected to at least kick the tires on this year’s top player in the secondary. Could something like Janoris Jenkins‘ five year, $62.5MM contract ($28.8MM fully guaranteed) from last year be within reach? Jenkins had a longer history of success than Bouye, but consider these facts: Bouye nearly two years younger than Jenkins was at time of signing and the salary cap has risen by about $12MM.
Signed with Jaguars for five years, $67.5MM.A.J. Bouye (vertical)

2. Alshon Jeffery, WR (Bears): He was hurt for most of 2015 and he slumped along with the entire Bears offense in 2016, but his natural ability is still evident and he is a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver. At one point, it seemed like Jeffery could wind up as the league’s highest-paid wide receiver. That won’t be the case, but he will likely get more cash than any other wide receiver in this year’s class. The Eagles and Titans have been hot on his tail for some time now. The 49ers could also get involved and a return to the Bears cannot be ruled out either. Ultimately, Jeffery should wind up fetching at least $10MM per year and perhaps as much as $12MM per year on his next deal.
Signed with Eagles for one year, $9.5MM.

3. Kenny Stills, WR (Dolphins): Jeffery isn’t the only wide receiver who could fetch $12MM per year. Stills isn’t necessarily the best wide receiver on his own team, but he is just on the cusp of his 25th birthday and his ability to stretch the field is tantalizing. It doesn’t sound like the Dolphins are ready to be the highest bidder for his services and it’s not hard to imagine a team like the Eagles landing him. Naturally, there’s quite a bit of overlap between the potential suitors for Jeffery and Stills: the Eagles, Titans, Bears, and 49ers will probably come calling. The Rams may not have enough room to squeeze in Stills, but they could certainly use a playmaker like him if they do not re-sign Kenny Britt. Stills reportedly likes the West Coast (who doesn’t?) so the Niners and Rams could have a leg up on the others if the bidding is close.
Re-signed with Dolphins for four years, $32MM.

4. Dont’a Hightower, LB (Patriots): The market is capped for non-rush linebackers, but Hightower is pretty much the best at what he does and is also lauded for his intangibles. The Patriots have always embraced the “next man up” philosophy, so it is possible they will allow him to go elsewhere. The Dolphins have been frequently connected to Hightower, but that might be too ambitious for a team that has multiple major needs to address. The Colts might also make sense, but the price might be too rich for their blood. A Patriots return appears to be the most likely outcome, but anything is possible.
Re-signed with Patriots for four years, $35.5MM. 

5. Kevin Zeitler, G (Bengals): Zeitler has age on his side and he’s one of the safest free agents in the top ten after three consecutive years of dominance. Interior offensive linemen don’t get as much love as their counterparts on the outside, but they are still incredibly vital and Zeitler’s next contract will reflect that. If he doesn’t circle back to the Bengals, the Jaguars, Cardinals, Packers, and Seahawks all make varying degrees of sense for Zeitler. From a football standpoint, you can add the Jets to that group too, but I’m not sure they can meet a ~$12MM/year asking price.
Signed with Browns for five years, $60MM.

6. Logan Ryan, CB (Patriots): There are bigger names available at the cornerback position, but Ryan slots ahead of many of them after a career year. It also doesn’t hurt that this fresh-faced Super Bowl champ only just turned 26 in February. If the Patriots don’t tie him down, Ryan’s earning power could conceivably vault him past Trumaine Johnson in terms of guaranteed cash. The Jaguars and Titans would be wise to zero in on Ryan if they can’t land Bouye and it’s possible that some of their evaluators might even prefer Ryan over the Houston standout. Ryan’s next deal will probably pay him eight figures per year and it should be a lengthy pact.
Signed with Titans for three years, $30MM.

7. Terrelle Pryor, WR (Browns): There is strong mutual interest in a new deal between Pryor and the Browns. Still, the Browns passed on the opportunity to franchise tag the Ohio State product and he now appears poised to test the open market. With pretty much just one year to show, how will Pryor fare in free agency? His next deal should pay him at least $10MM/year and he could get up to $12MM/year. In addition to the Browns, the usual suspects for this year’s high-end WRs will explore signing Pryor (say it with me): Eagles, Titans, and 49ers. There’s conflicting word about whether the Steelers will get involved. The Giants are known to have interest, but I don’t think they’ll be splurging on free agents like they did one year ago.
Signed with Redskins for one year, $6MM.

8 .Ricky Wagner, OT (Ravens): There’s already talk of Wagner fetching around $10MM/year and it’s not like this year’s free agent market is flush with young, quality tackles. When you also consider the lack of quality tackles in the draft, it’s apparent that Wagner is about to get PAID, in all caps.Believe it or not, $10MM/year might be his floor. When all is said and done, he’ll be the league’s biggest earner at right tackle. The Bears are particularly interested in Wagner, so he could go from the AFC North to the NFC North this week.
Signed with Lions for five years, $47.5MM.

Calais Campbell (vertical)9. Calais Campbell, DL (Cardinals): Campbell was supposed to be an afterthought in Arizona after the addition of Chandler Jones. Perhaps motivated by a perceived slight, Campbell turned in a stellar year. Now, the Cardinals would very much like to keep him, but they can only go so far as they back up the Brinks truck for Jones and look into retaining other key free agents. If Jones does not agree to a cap-smoothing long-term deal between now and March 9th, the odds of Campbell leaving increase. The Jaguars are said to be a leading contender for Campbell while the Titans, Broncos, Colts, and Bears could also use a force like him. His age (31 in September) gives him a bit of a ceiling in terms of overall compensation, but he should still do nicely this month.
Signed with Jaguars for four years, $60MM.

10. Stephon Gilmore, CB (Bills): In terms of pure talent, Gilmore might be the best cornerback available. Trouble is, no one knows what to make of him after a down 2016. Some have openly theorized that Gilmore was playing it safe to avoid injury in his pivotal contract year. It’s also possible that Buffalo’s injuries in the front seven put undue stress on the secondary. The Bears are reportedly high on Gilmore and he may represent a cheaper option than Bouye or Ryan. A Bills return would also make sense here.
Signed with Patriots for five years, $65MM.

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Browns Rumors: Garoppolo, Pryor, Zeitler

It sounds like talk of Jimmy Garoppolo being pulled off the trade block was not entirely accurate. Still, if he is still available, it could take an awful lot to pry him loose. It might take as much as a No. 1 pick this year plus a No. 1 pick in next year’s draft, a source tells Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. That’s a price the Browns are very unlikely to meet, Cabot adds. Jimmy Garoppolo (vertical)

The Browns would very much like to have Garoppolo and their dream scenario right now would be to land him via trade while drafting pass rusher Myles Garrett No. 1 overall. Failing that, they have their eyes on getting Garrett at the top of the draft and landing either Mitch Trubisky or Deshaun Watson at No. 12. That scenario will become a little more realistic if teams like the 49ers, Jets, and Bears address their QB situations before the draft. The Browns could also conceivably use their draft stockpile to trade up from No. 12 and get their desired signal caller.

In other Browns news, one source estimates that Terrelle Pryor is seeking somewhere between $13MM and $15MM per year. If that’s the asking price, Cabot believes the Browns will let him walk. Reportedly, he has been contacted by the Giants, 49ers, Titans, and Eagles. The Steelers, depending on who you ask, may also have interest.

A Pryor return may or may not be in the cards, but the Browns will likely pursue Bengals free agent guard Kevin Zeitler, a league source tells Cabot. Zeitler played for coach Hue Jackson in Cincinnati and that connection could help lead to a deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 2.0: Offense

NFL free agency is right around the corner! The legal tampering period starts on Tuesday and free agency officially starts on Thursday. The list of available free agents will change between now and then as players re-sign with teams or get cut loose, but we have a pretty good idea of who will be available right now. After looking at the top defensive players, we now shift our attention to the other side of the ball.

Here are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each position. The rankings aren’t determined by earning power, they are simply the players we like the most at each position, with a combination of short- and long-term value taken into account. You won’t find restricted free agents or franchise tagged guys here since they are unlikely to go leave their current clubs.

Player evaluation is always subjective, so we encourage you to make your voices heard in the comments section in cases where you disagree with us.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:

Updated 3-7-2017, 2:55pm CT

Quarterback:

  1. Mike Glennon
  2. Nick Foles
  3. Brian Hoyer (story)
  4. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  5. Colin Kaepernick
  6. Josh McCown
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Ryan Mallett
  11. Christian Ponder
  12. Blaine Gabbert
  13. Geno Smith
  14. Matt Schaub (story)
  15. EJ Manuel

Honorable mention: Ryan Nassib, Landry JonesShaun Hill Mike Glennon (vertical)

Colin Kaepernick’s agents have (wisely) let everyone know that their client will stand for the National Anthem in 2017. That may seem like a minor point, but teams say they would have automatically removed him from consideration if he continued his attention-grabbing protest. He grabbed headlines for his actions on the sidelines last year, but he actually turned in an OK season. From a football standpoint, Kaepernick would make sense for a lot of teams as a QB2 with upside.

Interestingly, this list includes three quarterbacks who couldn’t cut it as the Jets’ starter and three rejects from the 49ers. They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all six of those players (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kaepernick, Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert) come with varying degrees of potential and proven effectiveness. Smith, somehow, could reportedly be retained by the Jets and installed as the starter in 2017.

Ryan Nassib is just outside of the top 15 here with EJ Manuel getting the final spot. Despite positive word about his play in practice, Nassib is unproven and the Giants’ apparent lack of interest in re-signing him says a lot. It’s also possible that he might not be 100% after ending the 2016 season on IR with an elbow injury. Manuel, for all his warts, has shown potential in small bursts.

Running back:

  1. Eddie Lacy
  2. Adrian Peterson
  3. LeGarrette Blount
  4. Latavius Murray
  5. Jamaal Charles
  6. Darren McFadden
  7. Jacquizz Rodgers
  8. Rex Burkhead
  9. Rashad Jennings
  10. Danny Woodhead
  11. Tim Hightower
  12. DeAngelo Williams
  13. Andre Ellington
  14. Chris Johnson
  15. Christine Michael

Honorable mention: Robert Turbin, Travaris Cadet, Benny Cunningham, Lance Dunbar, Bobby Rainey, Brandon BoldenDenard Robinson, James Starks

Adrian Peterson (vertical)As expected, the Vikings have cut Adrian Peterson loose and he is expected to garner interest from contending clubs this week. Some might peg Peterson as the most talented running back in this year’s free agent class, but it all comes down to how you weigh his age and injury history. Peterson has shocked the football world in the past with an incredible comeback, but I’m a little skeptical of his ability to do it again in his age-32 season. Eddie Lacy, who has injury question marks of his own, takes the top spot at the position.

The Patriots believe they won’t be able to match the offers that come in LeGarrette Blount‘s direction. Latavius Murray could circle back to the Raiders, but he won’t be agreeing to a deal with them before free agency opens on Thursday.

Jamaal Charles has the most impressive resume of anyone on this list, with the exception of Peterson. However, no one knows exactly what he can do after playing eight games in the last two years. He’ll turn 31 in December and that’s usually not an indicator of success for running backs.

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AFC Rumors: Steelers, Jets, Broncos, Fins

Less than 24 hours before the start of the NFL’s legal tampering period, conflicting reports have emerged regarding Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. While Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com indicates the Steelers will be one of several teams to pursue Pryor this week, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link) says Pittsburgh doesn’t have any interest in Pryor, at least at the $10MM+ he’s expected to command. The Giants, 49ers, Eagles, and Titans have also been linked to Pryor, whom Cleveland is attempting to re-sign.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • The Jetsreported interest in free agent quarterback Mike Glennon is “largely overblown,” according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. General manager Mike Maccagnan and staff have been linked to Glennon several occasions, but the club’s front office doesn’t believe the Buccaneers backup quarterback is worth the $14MM he’s likely to command on the open market. Ultimately, New York thinks Glennon will land with the Bears, who have also been connected to the free agent signal-caller.
  • Adding reinforcements along the lines will be the primary objective of the Broncos this offseason, as Troy Renck of Denver7 reports in a pair of articles. On offense, Denver is expected to be especially aggressive in signing a right guard, while the club will give Max Garcia another chance to lock down left guard. On defense, the Broncos will likely target mid-range options. Although they missed out on Earl Mitchell, the Broncos were linked to free agent Chris Baker earlier tonight.
  • If the Dolphins lose wide receiver Kenny Stills to free agency, they will sign a veteran pass-catcher in the coming weeks, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Miami isn’t certain that 2016 third-round pick Leonte Carroo is ready to take over as the club’s third receiver, per Jackson, who points to Ted Ginn, Terrance Williams, Aldrick Robinson, and Marquise Goodwin as potential options.