The Terrelle Pryor era never got off the ground in Oakland. For a Raiders franchise starving for a long-term answer at quarterback, the front office evidently felt as though Pryor wasn't worth the wait to develop despite his immense talent.
Now, the Seattle Seahawks will explore whether Pryor can indeed become a viable long-term NFL starter, as they acquired the dynamic signal-caller in a trade on Monday.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported the news:
Raiders trade Terrelle Pryor to the Seahawks, per league source.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 22, 2014
The Raiders confirmed the move and added what they are receiving from the Seahawks:
The Raiders have acquired a 7th round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft from the @Seahawks in exchange for QB Terrelle Pryor.— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) April 22, 2014
General manager Reggie McKenzie has been a busy man this offseason, as Oakland desperately tries to keep up in an AFC West division that just sent three teams to the playoffs.
McKenzie even went public in expressing his desire to trade or release Pryor, per the San Jose Mercury News' Tim Kawakami, who also reported Pryor wouldn't get another opportunity to start for the Silver and Black:
Asked Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie about Terrelle Pryor's future with the team and McKenzie suggested Pryor could be traded or released soon.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) March 24, 2014
McKenzie said Pryor's agent has told the Raiders he wants to be a starting QB and McKenzie said that wasn't possible with the Raiders.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) March 24, 2014
Alex Marvez of Fox Sports 1 cited a source who said Pryor was seeking a trade out of Oakland rather than his release:
I think they're putting him in hopes that he fails. That's what I think coach is doing. I think they're putting him in hopes that he has a bad game, so he can then justify the Matt McGloin situation. I think that's what's going on, I do and it's ridiculous...You have to understand the [situation] Coach is putting him in, he doesn't want him to look good. And you can write that. He doesn't want him to look good because, if he looks good this week, it makes the past five weeks look like a bad decision. [ Allen] doesn't want [Pryor] to look good, he wants him to look bad. That is what is going on.
If the team's current regime wasn't intent on seeing Pryor fall flat on his face on the field, the reality was that all the elements were stacked against him.
Improvement in his throwing mechanics and an overall maturation saw Pryor make big strides to begin the 2013 season. When he was protected well at the beginning of the year, Pryor showed the ability to hang in the pocket and deliver the ball downfield with accuracy. Unfortunately, injuries to the offensive line, lackluster production from the backfield, meager defense and Pryor's own health issues led to a decline in his play as the season wore on.
All of these factors have to be considered when evaluating Pryor's long-term viability as an NFL player.
Undrafted rookie Matt McGloin got a shot to start ahead of Pryor and played well enough to retain the job down the stretch, only to see Pryor start the regular-season finale against the Denver Broncos. In that contest, he threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 49 yards on nine carries.
The Raiders didn't have a true No. 1 receiver for Pryor or any of the quarterbacks to target, but they feel confident moving forward with Matt Schaub. McKenzie traded a sixth-round pick for the former Houston Texan, and head coach Dennis Allen named Schaub the starting quarterback on Friday, March 21.
From that point on, it especially seemed that the writing was on the wall for Pryor's time in Oakland to draw to a close. Chris Wesseling of NFL.com felt the price the Raiders paid for Schaub was costly, considering Pryor has played better than him as of late:
Raiders giving up a draft pick and $11M for a QB who has been outplayed by Terrelle Pryor over the past 20 games.— Chris Wesseling (@ChrisWesseling) March 21, 2014
The Seahawks seemed to at least recognize some of the tough circumstances Pryor faced with the Raiders enough to take a flier on him. Starting is not in Pryor's immediate future, but he's never had much of a chance to thrive since being selected as a third-round supplemental draft choice in 2011 after starring at Ohio State.
With a 6'4", 233-pound frame, there's no question Pryor is the cutting-edge prototype for the NFL's evolving quarterback position thanks to his unique blend of foot speed and innate gifts as a passer. From a pure physical standpoint, he's comparable to Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers.
In the right situation, there's still plenty of time for Pryor to capitalize on his potential and become a starter—even a great one.