After weeks of negotiation with the Cleveland Browns, 2016 emergent receiver Terrelle Pryor opted for a one-year, $8 million “prove it” deal with the Washington Redskins.
The move makes sense for both parties. Washington gets an able-bodied presence to help fill the loss of wideouts Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, while Pryor has a shot at playing for a blockbuster contract in 2018.
Pryor, an extremely athletic former quarterback, corralled 77 balls for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns in Cleveland last season — catching balls from a myriad of quarterbacks, all of whom come up short of the Redskins’ Kirk Cousins’ skill set.
While many variables — quarterbacks, the hand injury, inexperience — contributed to the following stat, it needs to be iterated: Among the top-24 reception leaders at wide receiver last year, Pryor caught just 54.6 percent of his targets, which rated third worst.
Washington’s stable is anything but … only Jamison Crowder has proven himself among the receivers on roster. Redskins second-year wideout Josh Doctson will have to press the reset button after a lost rookie season, which, in effect, makes him a rookie all over again. Competition for touches may come mainly from the tight end position, where Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis return.
Fantasy football spin
Anytime a player with one year of production joins a new team there is an element of risk in projecting fantasy success. It requires a leap of faith, and sometimes several presumptions.
The top one has to be that Pryor actually is the playmaker we saw last year in Cleveland — when healthy. A hand injury robbed him of some late-season productivity, but the overall body of work was clear enough to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Another supposition is that he and Cousins develop a rapport. Then it’s the offense fits Pryor and vice versa. … None of these dots are too far to connect.
Provided Doctson contributes to a reasonable degree, and Crowder remains productive from the slot, Pryor has a legitimate shot at being a top-15 fantasy receiver in 2017. He has a contract on the line, and so does Cousins.
Drafting Pryor will be tricky, though, and, in all likelihood, he won’t come on the cheap. He has a bit of hype behind him, and this is a perfect storm for a player in his prime to take a step to the next level. You’re looking at a moderate No. 2 fantasy receiver with low-end WR1 potential in best-case scenario. Consider Pryor a fine second wideout with a wealth of upside.
Cousins gets bump back in the direction of being a fringe QB1. Pryor’s addition really doesn’t hamper anyone in the receiving corps to a notable degree, as their respective roles are unlikely to change. If anything, a good Pryor helps make a learning Doctson better.