On one hand, it’s a reflection of the Browns‘ current state that their top offseason priority is a quarterback turned wide receiver who caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns in 2016. On the other, it is a reflection of their current state that Terrelle Pryor wants to stay and not play for a contending team that might be able to use his versatile skill set more effectively.
Pryor told Cleveland.com that he wants to see the rebuild through.
“I know this is an important month,” Pryor said. “But I do love being with the Browns and like I said before, this thing isn’t about joining a different team because a different team’s good.
“That’s not what it’s about. I love the building process here. I started out in my career never coming in the front door. I’ve always got to go in the back.”
Cleveland.com added that “strong discussions” will soon commence between the Browns and their breakout star regarding a new contract.
The Browns already locked up Jamie Collins on a four-year, $50 million deal and should get similarly aggressive with Pryor. Spotrac, a salary-cap website, projects his value at four years and roughly $36 million — or somewhere between the deal that Michael Crabtree signed in 2015 and the one Doug Baldwin signed with the Seahawks this past offseason.
While that would make sense, Pryor is theoretically in demand and the Browns are in need of a team-defining offensive star. Joe Thomas, while undoubtedly the best at his position over the past 10 seasons, is not going to draw jaded fans back to the Browns on his own.
Even after paying what is expected to be a haul of draft picks — 13, including four in the first two rounds — Cleveland will have money to burn this offseason and could take another step at defining this rebuild by taking a crack at the top of the free agent market. Retaining Pryor, though, would be a fine start.