Terrelle Pryor

Jets Rumors: Mayfield, Pryor, Roberts

Some in football circles believe that the Jets traded up from No. 6 to No. 3 in order to draft Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, Mike Florio of PFT writes. Mayfield is widely regarded as one of the four best QBs in this year’s class, but most have some combo of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen coming off the board in the first two picks.

Mayfield comes with some concerns about his demeanor and height, but coach Todd Bowles won’t rule him out just because of his stature.

They’re important to a degree,” Bowles said of height and tangible measurements (via Manish Mehta of the Daily News). “Winning is more important. You just have to weigh the pluses and the minuses on that. Quarterback measurables are important. Defensive back measurables are important. There’s a height requirement there as well. There’s a height requirement for linebackers and defensive linemen.”

Mayfield has measured at at 6-foot 3/8 with 9 1/2-inch hands, which has kept him in the conversation near the top of the draft. He still doesn’t have ideal height for the quarterback position, but the Jets could be willing to overlook that if they believe in his overall potential.

Here’s more on Gang Green:

  • Terrelle Pryor’s deal with the Jets is one year, $4.5MM pact with $2MM guaranteed, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Pryor managed only 20 receptions, 240 yards, and one reception in nine games with the Redskins before landing on IR, but he had a strong showing for the Browns in the previous year. If Pryor gets back to his old form, he could prove to be one of this year’s best value signings in the NFL.
  • Andre Roberts‘ contract with the Jets is a one year, $1.005MM pact with the $90K signing bonus representing his only guarantee (Twitter link via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com). Roberts is expected to serve as a depth addition as well as a special teams contributor, but his low guarantee means that he is not necessarily assured a spot on the final 53-man roster.
  • Former Jets long snapper Tanner Purdum has retired, according to an Instagram post from his wife. Purdum was with the Jets from 2010-2016 and did not botch a snap during that period. He was released last September after the team traded for rookie long snapper Thomas Hennessy and did not hook on with another club.

Jets To Sign WR Terrelle Pryor

The Jets have agreed to sign wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, reports Calvin Watkins of Newsday (Twitter link). Ian Rapoport of NFL.com first indicated Pryor was nearing a deal with New York.

Pryor didn’t exactly pick the right time to hit the open market, as he’s coming off a lost campaign with the Redskins. After starring with the Browns in 2016, Pryor inked a one-year deal with Washington after reportedly rejecting offers from Cleveland. Before landing on injured reserve in November, Pryor managed only 20 receptions, 240 yards, and one reception in nine games (two starts).

But Pryor wowed during his first full season as a wide receiver, putting up an astounding 77/1,007/4 with the Browns in 2016. That upside allowed Pryor to create something of a market for himself following a disastrous year in the nation’s capital. The Browns and Rams each expressed some level of interest in the 28-year-old, but Pryor was deciding between the Jets and Seahawks as of Wednesday.

New York was clearly looking at affordable wide receiver additions, as the club met with both Allen Hurns and Charles Johnson over the past week. With Pryor on board, it appears less likely the Jets will pursue either of those options, as the club also pass-catchers Jermaine Kearse, Robby Anderson, Chad Hansen, ArDarius Stewart, and Quincy Enunwa on their roster.

Despite his down 2017 output, Pryor should be in line to start for Gang Green. Anderson, for his part, has been arrested twice this offseason and could be facing a league-imposed suspension, while Enunwa is recovering from a serious neck injury. Given that Hansen and Stewart — both of whom are entering their second NFL seasons — don’t offer much experience, Pryor could be in line for starter’s reps. And given that New York played 63% of its offensive snaps with three wide receivers on the field a season ago, Pryor should see plenty of action, regardless.

With both Pryor and fellow wideout Mike Wallace coming off the board today, the second-tier of free agent receivers is rapidly thinning. At present, the best pass-catchers who remain unsigned include Hurns, Jordan Matthews, Eric Decker, Brice Butler, and Dontrelle Inman.

[RELATED: Jets Depth Chart]

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Nearing Deal With WR Terrelle Pryor

The Jets are close to a deal with free agent wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported Wednesday that Pryor was choosing between New York and Seattle.

Despite his disaster of a 2017 campaign, Pryor could be in line for a starting role with Gang Green. Jermaine Kearse is locked in as one of the Jets’ top-two wideouts, but Robby Anderson has been arrested twice in the past calendar year and could theoretically be facing a league-imposed suspension. New York used three wideouts on 63% of its offensive plays a season ago, so Pryor will likely see a good deal of action as part of a depth chart that also includes Chad Hansen, ArDarius Stewart, and a rehabbing Quincy Enunwa, among others.

Pryor, of course, was anything but successful in 2017 after inking a one-year deal with the Redskins. Before landing on injured reserve in November, Pryor managed only 20 receptions, 240 yards, and one reception in nine games (two starts). Expected to serve as something close to Washington’s No. 1 receiver, Pryor was instead outplayed by Jamison CrowderRyan Grant, and Josh Doctson, and the Redskins didn’t seem to have any interest in retaining him.

Cleveland saw the best of Pryor in 2016, as put up an astounding 77/1,007/4 line during his first full season as a wideout. The Browns, who reportedly attempted to trade for Pryor during the 2017 season., were also in Pryor, while the Rams also expressed some level of interest, but — like Cleveland — never set up a visit.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Terrelle Pryor Down To Jets and Seahawks?

Free agent receiver Terrelle Pryor appears to be deciding between the Jets and Seahawks, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (Twitter link).

Pryor has been busy during the second wave of the free agent period, taking visits with both New York and Seattle. The Rams, too, have expressed some level of interest in Pryor, while Cabot recently reported Cleveland was still open to a reunion with Pryor, who broke out with the Browns as a full-time receiver in 2016. However, it appears the 28-year-old Pryor is only considering the Jets and Seahawks at present.

Pryor, of course, was anything but successful in 2017 after inking a one-year deal with the Redskins. Before landing on injured reserve in November, Pryor managed only 20 receptions, 240 yards, and one reception in nine games (two starts). Expected to serve as something close to Washington’s No. 1 receiver, Pryor was instead outplayed by Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant, and Josh Doctson, and the Redskins don’t seem to have any interest in retaining him.

The Jets, for their part, haven’t made any additions to their receiving corps yet this offseason, although they have met or will meet with Allen Hurns and Charles Johnson. The Seahawks, meanwhile signed former Cardinals wideout Jaron Brown and acquired Marcus Johnson from the Eagles, but lost fellow pass-catcher Paul Richardson to free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets To Meet With Terrelle Pryor

The Jets will meet with Terrelle Pryor this week, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. His visit will take place after his current meeting with the Seahawks wraps up. 

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson is doing his best to help bring Pryor to the fold, but the Jets have more dollars to spend. The Rams also have some interest in Pryor and the Browns may be interested in a reunion.

If Pryor is looking at another one-year prove-it deal, he may see Seattle as his best opportunity to re-establish himself as a high-end wide receiver. Then again, the Seahawks did sign Jaron Brown in the wake of Paul Richardson‘s departure, so there might not be a huge role waiting for him in Seattle.

Meanwhile, things are pretty wide open for the Jets. Quincy Enunwa figures to return under the second-round tender, but it remains to be seen how he’ll perform following last year’s neck injury. Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, Jalin Marshall, and ArDarius Stewart are on hand, but Pryor could join the Jets as one of their top pass-catching options, particularly with tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins out of the picture.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

WR Terrelle Pryor To Visit Seahawks

Terrelle Pryor will be meeting with the Seahawks tomorrow, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com also has details on the visit. The reporter notes that quarterback Russell Wilson is “recruiting him hard.”

We heard earlier this week that the Seahawks (along with the Rams) had some interest in the versatile receiver. The Browns have also been connected to their former player.

After being converted to receiver, Pryor had a breakout campaign in 2016, hauling in 77 catches for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns. He also compiled 21 rushing yards and a touchdown on eight carries. This performance earned him a one-year, $8MM deal from the Redskins, but he ultimately disappointed during his stint in Washington.

In nine games (two starts), Pryor had 20 catches for 240 yards and one touchdown. Pro Football Focus ultimately ranked him 109th among 166 receiver candidates, a far cry from his above-average grade in 2017. Still, Pryor did enough to earn the 19th spot on our list of the top remaining free agents.

Seattle already lost Paul Richardson to Washington. The Seahawks are still rostering a number of wideouts, including Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, and the recently-signed Jaron Brown.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks, Rams Interested In Terrelle Pryor

The Browns have company in their pursuit to bring Terrelle Pryor back to Ohio. Both the Rams and Seahawks are also now interested in the free agent wide receiver’s services, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports.

Seattle lost Paul Richardson to Washington, which signed Pryor last offseason, and Los Angeles saw Sammy Watkins sign with Kansas City on a whopping contract. Pryor did not perform as well as either last year but was the Browns’ top receiver in 2016.

The Browns remain in the mix, Cabot reports, but are now battling some more competitive pursuers. Pryor caught just 20 passes for 240 yards last season, proving to be an ill-fitting piece in Jay Gruden’s offense. He finished the season on IR.

Cleveland, though, tried to reacquire the Ohio State product midway through his disappointing season but could not. The Browns have been the team most linked to Pryor this offseason.

The Top 25 Remaining NFL Free Agents

Many of this year’s top free agents came off of the board during the legal tampering period, including Kirk Cousins, Trumaine Johnson, Sammy Watkins, and Allen Robinson. Still plenty of the names from our list of the Top 50 Free Agents remain, including some new additions. Here’s a rundown of the players to keep an eye on as free agency officially begins, ranked roughly by their expected contract value:

1. Ndamukong Suh, DT (Dolphins): The Dolphins bailed on Suh’s mega contract midway through, freeing him up to sign another high-priced contract. He won’t get anything close to a six-year, $114MM deal this time around, but he should settle in at an AAV that keeps him among the best compensated players at his position. Last year, Pro Football Focus ranked Suh fifth among 122 interior defenders. 

2. Tyrann Mathieu, S (Cardinals): The Cardinals worked feverishly to hammer out a new contract with the Honey Badger, but the two sides could not come to terms on a deal to lessen his 2018 cap hit. He has been released, allowing him to hit free agency as the best safety available. The Jets are not believed to be interested, despite his connection with head coach Todd Bowles. The other tenant of the Meadowlands, however, could have interest thanks to the presence of former Arizona DC James Bettcher.

3. Sheldon Richardson, DT (Seahawks): Richardson may have lost some luster following the trade that sent him from the Jets to the Seahawks, but he among the best defensive tackles currently available. With plenty of cap space remaining, Richardson should find a lucrative deal, though it probably won’t come from Seattle. Our own Dallas Robinson estimates that Richardson will fetch about $9MM/year.

4. Dontari Poe, DT (Falcons): Poe missed out on a big payday last year when teams shied away from him due to lingering back issues. After turning in his second consecutive 16-game season, things could be different this time. For the record – Poe has missed only two regular season games over the course of his career, so he boasts a better attendance record than a lot of other veterans on this list. He’s unlikely to circle back to Atlanta.

5. Josh Sitton, G (Bears): With Andrew Norwell off of the board, Sitton stands as the best guard on the market. He’s missed six games over the last two years, but he has four Pro Bowl appearances to his credit. He’s set to meet with the Dolphins.

6. A.J. McCarron, QB (Bengals): It’s difficult to peg McCarron’s value heading into free agency. Outside of some quality starts in 2015, there isn’t much film out there on McCarron, despite that fact that he has spent four years in the NFL. Hue Jackson was itching to reunite with McCarron, but the Browns no longer seem a likely destination for him after the acquisition of Tyrod Taylor. It’s also hard to see him landing with the QB-needy Jets after they re-signed Josh McCown and added Teddy Bridgewater. McCarron will find a home, but it may not be as a starter. [UPDATE: McCarron has signed with the Bills]

7. E.J. Gaines, CB (Bills): Injuries in the fall limited Gaines to just 11 games last season, but he proved to be a quality return for the Bills in the Watkins trade, in addition to the second-round pick that came with him. Gaines graded out as the No. 13 cornerback in the league last year, per PFF, and he just turned 26 in February. Gaines missed all of ’15 due to injury and didn’t look all that sharp in ’16, but timing is everything in free agency. You can expect multiple teams to call on him and the Texans could still have interest, even after inking Aaron Colvin.

8. Eric Reid, S (49ers): Reid is just 26 and is undoubtedly a starting quality safety. He has both youth and versatility on his side, but it’s possible that his anthem protest participation could hurt him when it comes to some suitors. Injuries over the last two seasons will hurt his market as well.

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Browns Interested In Several Big-Name FAs

The Browns took on some more salary last week by adding Jarvis Landry and Tyrod Taylor, but the team is still loaded with cap space. And the John Dorsey-led operation plans to be active this week.

Nate Solder is on the Browns’ radar as a possible Joe Thomas replacement, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports. While Thomas hasn’t announced his retirement, a decision on whether he will return in 2018 is expected soon.

Additionally, the trade for Damarious Randall won’t preclude Cleveland from seeking top-end cornerback talent. The Browns will pursue Bashaud Breeland, Cabot reports, and a Trumaine Johnson/Gregg Williams reunion could well be something the team considers.

The Browns are targeting big-name corners not just because they have a need for younger talent there but because they are going to play Randall as a free safety, per Cabot. Randall has not played safety yet in the NFL, but the Browns evidently view that as a worthwhile adjustment for their new defensive back.

Terrelle Pryor remains on the Browns’ radar, per Cabot. They’ve been linked to him this offseason and tried to reacquire him from the Redskins at the trade deadline last year. Hue Jackson remains a Pryor backer. Pryor’s market may not be what it was a year ago, however, after a rough season in Washington. Cabot adds that agent Drew Rosenhaus didn’t think it was wise for Pryor to be tied down at $8.5-$9.5MM per year. It would be incredibly surprising if Pryor signs for around that amount this year.

Cabot adds the Browns will likely go after Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins as well. Robinson is a top Browns target, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

PFR’s Top 50 NFL Free Agents For 2018 1.0

There will be tons of free agents available in March, but only a some of them can be real difference makers for your favorite team. To help separate the wheat from the chaff, we’ve assembled our early list of the Top 50 NFL Free Agents for 2018.

Our early version of the NFL’s top 50 free agents may include players who will be re-signed between now and March 14. When we update this list next week, a few of the big names will be spoken for while new high-profile names will join the fray as veterans become cap casualties.

Recently, we broke down the top free agents by position on both offense and defense, but our rankings below may not have each player listed in the same order. Those position lists took the short-term value of a player into account more heavily, meaning many players in their 30s received prominent placement. Our overall top 50 list favors longer-term value, and is more about forecasting which players will be in highest demand when it comes to years and dollars.

With those caveats out of the way, let’s dive in! Here are Pro Football Rumors’ top 50 NFL free agents for 2018:

1. Kirk Cousins, QB (Redskins): At long last, Kirk Cousins is headed towards unrestricted free agency. You may or may not regard Cousins as a star, but he is the best quarterback in recent history to reach the open market and QB-needy teams will be rolling out the red carpet for him. The Jets, Vikings, Broncos, and Cardinals have been named as the top suitors for his services, but the NFL is full of surprises this time of year and we would not be surprised to see other teams get involved. The cash-flush Browns are reportedly keen on signing a lower-cost vet and drafting a QB early, but who’s to say they won’t change course and get in on the Cousins sweepstakes? The Bills, Giants, Dolphins, Bucs, and Colts could also consider kicking the tires here, but there are obstacles in that bunch ranging from established starters already in place (Eli Manning, Ryan Tannehill, Jameis Winston, and Andrew Luck) to financial constraints. No matter where he goes, it’s almost certain that Cousins will become the league’s highest-paid player of all-time. That is, until another top-tier QB signs a contract extension soon after.

2. Drew Brees (Saints): There are multiple possibilities for Cousins but it’s hard to see a scenario in which Brees actually leaves the Saints. Brees has already said that he does not plan on testing free agency, so he’ll likely put pen to paper before things begin on March 14. As far as we can tell, the only way Brees will think about leaving is if he is lowballed to an extreme degree by the Saints, but that seems improbable based on his history with the team

3. Case Keenum (Vikings): One year ago, no one ever would have expected Keenum to be one of 2018’s most sought-after free agents. The Vikings signed the former Rams signal caller to a one-year, $2MM deal in March with the idea that he would back up Sam Bradford and, eventually slide down to third on the depth chart when/if Teddy Bridgewater returned to full health. When Bradford went down in September, Keenum exceeded all expectations and put together the best season of his career. The 30-year-old graded out as Pro Football Focus’ ninth-ranked QB in 2017, putting him above the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo, Aaron Rodgers, Marcus Mariota, Matthew Stafford, and Tyrod Taylor. With Keenum at the helm, the Vikings earned a first-round bye and beat the Saints in a playoff thriller before succumbing to the Eagles in the NFC championship game. Of course, after four seasons of mediocrity, teams are wondering whether this was an aberration or a real sign of things to come. Teams know that Keenum is not a lock, but he’s also the best Plan B for any team that loses out on Cousins or doesn’t have the means to sign him.

4. Andrew Norwell, G (Panthers): There was a time when tackles were the only offensive linemen to really cash in on the open market. That’s no longer the case, as evidenced by the contracts of Kevin Zeitler (five years, $60MM) and Kelechi Osemele (five years, $58.5MM). Osemele inked his free agent deal with the Raiders in 2016 and Zeitler signed his in the 2017 offseason. Given the cap increase and the natural progression of the market, Norwell figures to reset the market for interior linemen. Keenum figures to gross no less than $20MM/year on his next contract, so he’s slotted behind him, but an average annual value of $13-14MM is not out of the question for the former undrafted free agent.

5. Nate Solder, OT (Patriots): Solder isn’t coming off of his best season and he might be the least sexy name in the top ten. Still, there’s a dearth of tackles league-wide and Solder has been among the league’s best at his position for quite some time. The Patriots are bracing for Solder to leave as they fear he’ll garner offers of $12MM/year. No other tackle in this year’s free agent crop is even close to him in terms of ability, so we’re also buying into the hype. Injuries contributed to Solder’s up-and-down season, particularly early on, so teams will take that into account when evaluating him.

6. Allen Robinson, WR (Jaguars): The Jaguars opted against using the franchise tag on Robinson, which is understandable since they have limited cap space. Robinson missed almost all of 2017 with an ACL tear, but his 2015 season (and even his so-so 2016 campaign) gives teams reason to believe that he can be a quality WR1. Robinson is one of only two such players on the unrestricted market, so expect him to get paid. Robinson probably couldn’t do worse than Kenny Britt‘s four-year, $32MM deal with the Browns from last season (and he should do a whole lot better), but if he is underwhelmed by the multi-year offers he receives, he could always go the Alshon Jeffery route. Jeffery inked a one-year, $9.5MM prove-it deal with the Eagles and that turned out to be a smashing success for both parties. Jeffery was rewarded with a four-year, $52MM extension in December, so Robinson’s camp will surely be open to a pillow contract if necessary. 

7. Sammy Watkins, WR (Rams): Some may view Robinson and Watkins as 1A and 1B in this year’s wide receiver class, particularly since Robinson missed all of 2017 and Watkins, despite his own injury history, played in all but one of the Rams’ games. Unfortunately, Watkins did not have the platform year he was hoping for as he caught just 39 passes for 593 yards. If we strike Robinson’s lost year and Watkins’ down year from the record, the breakdown favors the Jags receiver – Robinson averaged 77 receptions for 1,078 yards and eight touchdowns per 16 games in that set versus Watkins’ 66 grabs for 1,063 yards and seven scores. These two should come pretty close in average annual value, but we give the edge to Robinson.

8. Trumaine Johnson, CB (Rams): Players often bemoan the franchise tag, but Johnson can’t really complain after receiving two consecutive tags from the Rams and earning more than $30MM between 2016 and 2017. The Rams, rightfully, did not consider a third consecutive tag for Johnson at a cost of ~$20MM and they already have his replacement in Marcus Peters. That’s one suitor down, but plenty of other teams will be eager to speak with Johnson, who profiles as the best cornerback in a deep class.

9. Sheldon Richardson, DT (Seahawks): Richardson gave the Jets lots of headaches, but he also gave them high-end production. He didn’t quite match that production in Seattle, but Richardson is positioned for a massive payday anyway since impactful defensive linemen are at a premium. Our own Dallas Robinson estimates that Richardson will garner about $9MM/year, but I would say that is his floor. The top-end of free agency rarely yields team-friendly deals, so Richardson could easily creep into eight figures in AAV, particularly since he does not turn 28 until November.

10. Dontari Poe, DT (Falcons): Poe thought he was in for a monster contract last offseason, but concerns about his lingering back issues forced him to take a one-year, $8MM deal with Atlanta. Teams may still worry about his back being a ticking time bomb, but perhaps they’ll view him in a different light now that he has played back-to-back 16 game seasons and has only missed two regular season contests over the course of his career.

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