Looking at the math Pryor has been released three times in just the past year by an NFL franchise. Nobody including myself wishes that kind of harshness on any athlete but Terrelle Pryor is an exceptional athlete, so what gives. It's become resoundingly apparent that he’s just not destined to make his mark in the NFL as a quarterback. Teams that have given him a shot and released him, other than the Oakland Raiders, are the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, and now the Bengals. they all brought Pryor in to give him yet another shot to prove himself. The Bengals apparently had him come in designated as a 3rd string QB but even that didn’t pan out.
Pryor did start in 9 games for the Oakland Raiders back in 2013, where he never managed to put up consistently impressive numbers or show the growth toward achieving the promise of higher consistency. His record as a stating QB was 3-6. Not so good. He had a 57 percent completion rate. Eh! He threw for 1,798 yards, including seven touchdowns, but racked up eleven interceptions.Yikes. His pure athletic ability helped him to add another 576 yards rushing on 83 carries, an impressive 7 yards per carry average, and he scored two TD’s.
Pryor the athlete made some noteworthy plays, but in the end it became apparent he fell short on the staple requirements -focus and consistency- that would make him a formidable NFL QB. The signs were. Still Pryor kept getting opportunities to prove he could overcome his weaknesses which have been present throughout his entire career.
So what’s a player in Pryors situation to do? Call it a day and pursue a career outside the league? Hard to do when he knows he has king-size athletic talent. The one option, an idea which Pryor himself has repeatedly excoriated in the past, is to step back, reassess and seriously entertain the difficult idea of playing another position. Very difficult indeed.
That being said Pryor has put out the word, through his agent and former OSU Buckeye Drew Rosenhaus, that he is willing to take the steps to attempt playing in the NFL at another position if it will ensure he can land on a team’s roster. The position that interests Pryor most is wide receiver. Based on this acknowledgement and apparent commitment to make a go of it as a receiver, the agent claims there is quite a bit of interest from NFL teams. Hard to say at this point. Is there verifiable truth in such claims or is it yet another story of an agent working hard to help his client succeed?
There is a strong case to be made that Pryor, with his all his undisputed gifted athleticism, could make a real go of it as an NFL receiver. Is incredibly difficult however for a player who ate, drank and dreamed of life as a NFL QB- most or all of his pre-college, college and professional career- to simply wipe the slate clean and reinvent himself. At one point not so long ago Pryor made an emphatic public statement that he didn’t even know how to catch a football. Sounds like someone in denial if anything. Hard to blame him
The next step is we wait and see if Pryor is truly willing to embrace the change and begin anew as receiver. The speed is there, the athletic ability is there, but the heart has to be there! And that’s hard to fake. Any team willing to give him a shot in a new-found role will have to be patient and prepared to sacrifice the time required to develop Pryor "the receiver". perhaps the Oakland Riaders would be one such team? Who knows at this point.
Pryor’s level of passion for remaining an active member of an NFL team will be tested for sure. But the best ones rise to the challenge... or at least give it a shot. Good luck to Terrelle Pryor. We’ll be watching and rooting for the newly minted underdog.
Scott Davis, a former Los Angeles Raider writes blogs about Oakland Raiders news and other topics