While their roster as a whole is a complete mess, the Oakland Raiders face some big decisions this offseason at the quarterback spot.
The Raiders are currently paying veteran Carson Palmer way too much money for the lack of effectiveness that he has provided since he was acquired from the Cincinnati Bengals. Meanwhile, Oakland’s only other quarterback capable of taking over the starting role is Terrelle Pryor. That move comes with quite a bit of risk, though.
Pryor, acquired during the 2011 Supplemental Draft, is an extremely raw quarterback who has yet to prove himself as an NFL-caliber passer. Known mainly for his athleticism, there are many unanswered questions about his abilities that make him a real liability as a starter. The potential to be a dynamic, read-option quarterback is intriguing, though.
“I feel like I can extend plays… you don’t know what you’re gonna get from me as a QB from a defensive perspective,” Pryor told ProFootballTalk. “I feel like I can extend plays well and I’m so fast and I believe in my speed and I can get around and wait for guys to get open as well.”
Despite his unpolished passing, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Pryor could replace the aging Palmer as Oakland’s starter if the 36-year-old continues to deteriorate in the talent department. The cap-strapped Raiders need a resolution to their financial woes, which could also mean restructuring Palmer’s deal or even getting rid of the veteran.
Pryor knows that playing quarterback in the NFL can often be a waiting game, though.
“I don’t really want to give comparisons or anything like that because Carson does a great job of what he does, and I can also play too and do some things well, too,” Pryor said. “So I can’t down-talk him because he’s a great QB to me and I just wanna stay on my side of seeing what I have to do to get better every single day and that’s where I’m at right now.”
In only two years in the NFL, Pryor seems to have gained some maturity and perspective, both things that he severely lacked during his college career.
There’s still plenty of ground to cover before Pryor is ready to take the reins of the Raiders’ offense. Not only does he have to continue growing as a player, but also as a person. If he can build on the progress he has made since 2011 and continue to deliver when opportunities arise, it might not be long before the Raiders give him the thumbs up.
Until then, the waiting game goes on.