So remember how excited Cleveland was at this time on Thursday afternoon? May want to hold the Browns’ beer as they officially lose wide receiver Terrelle Pryor to the Washington Football Team on a one-year, $8 million deal. A day after the boys in Berea agreed to give 28-year-old Kenny Britt a four-year, $32.5 million deal, and bought a second-round pick for $16 million, news comes out that the team’s leading receiver from a season ago opted to sign with a team which just fired their general manager a day earlier.
Reports are circulating that the Browns wanted to ink Pryor to a multi-year deal worth an estimated $8 million, but the player either wanted more guaranteed or a one-year deal and opted for the latter elsewhere with the ability to hit the market again next season. Fans will debate the merits of both the deal that was signed and the one that wasn’t, but the Browns had months to negotiate with Pryor before it got to free agency. The delay in the wide receiver being signed may indicate that they properly valued the market, but there is little excuse in losing a legitimate playmaker who has experience within an offensive system for what amounts to pennies compared to the team’s available cap space.
In a world where NFL teams run three-receiver sets more often than not, the Browns currently have Rashard Higgins (he of six receptions and 77 yards) listed as their third receiver. Regardless of the nuances involved in closed door discussions, it’s impossible to see this news as beneficial. Retaining their own talent is vital—until it isn’t. Let the PR spin commence!