The surprise came when they were willing to give up a third-round pick after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell decided to levy a five-game suspension on Pryor. The Raiders are already without several 2012 draft choices.
The five-game suspension is identical to the one handed down by the NCAA. Goodell showed the NCAA a great deal of respect with this decision, but he also opened a can of worms with legal issues and the NFL Players Association.
Although Pryor was not guilty of breaking any NFL rules, he received the identical suspension passed down from the NCAA. I am sure the commissioner was looking at the bigger picture of conduct detrimental to the NFL.
Understandably, the NFLPA wants to protect the players from suspensions and protect the players' interests as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement.
Based on the lockout and Pryor being a rookie, it is doubtful he would have been able to contribute in those five games, even without the suspension.
Pryor is a physical specimen and had impressive numbers at Ohio State in total yards and winning percentage as a quarterback. Over the last few seasons, teams are using former quarterbacks in many offensive formations that utilize their abilities and skills.
Having coached for the New York Jets in 2009, I think a great example is Brad Smith, now with the Buffalo Bills, playing out of the Wildcat formation. Smith was a dual threat who converted on a high rate of third-down plays.
I think the Pryor suspension will resonate in colleges across the country. College players will have one more thing to think about before they decide to get off the beaten path of compliance.
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