To say that “top” free wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Terrelle Pryor found their markets surprisingly lacking would be an extreme understatement.
After a number of other, lower-tier receivers signed for multiyear deals, Jeffery decided to bolt from Chicago for a one-year deal in Philadelphia, worth just $14 million – less than he would have received via another franchise tag from the Bears.
Today, Pryor was the one who had to settle for a surprisingly light one-year deal:
Washington giving WR Terrelle Pryor a one-year, $8 million deal, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2017
Pryor, 27, was a breakout star for an otherwise dreadful Browns team in 2016, hauling in 77 passes for over 1,000 yards and 4 touchdowns. One can only assume his market was light because of the very limited track record of success coming into free agency – for all practical purposes, that 2016 season was it for Pryor as a wideout. Teams clearly questioned whether he could be that guy again in 2017 and beyond, so he’ll have to prove it.
Similarly, Jeffery – also 27 – came into free agency with questions about whether he could be a top wide receiver again in 2017. In his case, it wasn’t because of a limited track record, it was instead because his best years in 2013 and 2014 were not matched in 2015 and 2016 thanks to a combination of injuries and a PED suspension.
Like Jeffery, Pryor probably could have netted a multiyear deal elsewhere, but opted instead for one year to prove himself, and try to cash in next time around.
It’s fair to say that this portion of the wide receiver market did not shake out as expected.
For their part, the Bears added Markus Wheaton – a smaller, deep threat/speed guy – to their wide receiver corps.