We’ve known for a while now that it wasn’t likely Terrelle Pryor was going to start the season on the Oakland Raiders roster — at least not as the starting quarterback. Both head coach Dennis Allen and GM Reggie McKenzie expressed doubt that their starting QB was currently on the roster and were openly exploring other options at the position. And with both hinting that between Pryor and Matt McGloin, McGloin had the better chance to be a backup for the team, the writing was on the wall. That writing became a flashing neon sign when the Raiders finally made a move and dealt for who they believe will be a vast upgrade at the position in Matt Schaub. Pryor’s future in Oakland couldn’t have been made more clear than when, after dealing for Schaub, Allen had this to say:
“We brought Matt Schaub in to be our starting quarterback and we feel very confident that he is going to be outstanding for us. He is a two-time Pro Bowl player and when you have the chance to add those kinds of players, that’s what you do.”
Following the end of the 2013 campaign, many thought that Pryor’s future with the club was still “muddled” but believed that he could still be under center when the 2014 season started. The deal for Schaub and Allen’s subsequent comments should lay to rest the Terrelle Pryor experiment in Oakland once and for all.
Following the deal for Schaub, Pryor has asked for his release, and Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News reported that McKenzie suggested the young QB could be traded or released soon. McKenzie seemed to corroborate Kawakami’s report when in an interview on Monday, he confirmed that he’d been approached by Pryor’s agent and asked about his future with the team. McKenzie was quoted as saying, “Terrelle wants to start so bad. I’ll visit with him. We’ll talk to him. We’ll see in the next week or so how he feels about his future.”
It’s abundantly clear that his future will not be with the Raiders. The question then becomes, what can they do with the 24-year old quarterback? If they put him on the trading block, there won’t likely be much in the way of a thriving market for his services. Not after posting a 3-6 mark in 2013, a QB rating of 69.1, 1,798 total passing yards (less than 200 yards per game) with seven TDs against 11 interceptions. The only things Pryor truly has going for him is the fact that he is only scheduled to make about $700,000 next season and that he can sometimes make plays with his legs. Though even his mobility may not be a very marketable item as we saw that his productivity decline when defenses keyed on him to run last season.
For his part, Pryor still believes he’s a starting-caliber NFL quarterback. But then again, so does Tim Tebow. There is no question that Pryor is an incredibly gifted athlete. He’s got size, speed and freakish athleticism. But he doesn’t seem to have the skill set or the temperament to be a starting QB in the NFL. He’s a major project under center at best, and everybody seems to know it but him.
With Trent Edwards, McGloin and now Schaub on the roster — and with neither Allen nor McKenzie expressing any sort of confidence in him– Pryor certainly seems to be the odd man out in Oakland. The Raiders would do well to get whatever they can for him, though they’d probably be incredibly fortunate to find somebody willing to part with even a late round pick in exchange. But whether it’s via a James Bond-style ejector seat, a trap door in the floor of McKenzie’s office, a trade or his outright release, it certainly seems that Terrelle Pryor will be leaving Oakland sooner rather than later.