For those who actually cover the Pittsburgh Steelers for a living, yesterday’s report that their name was among a list of five teams that have expressed interest in pending free agent wide receiver Terrelle Pryor was met with ribald laughter. As if the fact that their massive contract given to Antonio Brown were not enough to dissuade from the idea, those who expect a legitimate pursuit are probably underestimating the market that he will find, which will likely be in the double digits per year—in millions, of course.
Gerry Dulac Tweeted last night that a team source told him the “Steelers have no interest in signing Terrelle Pryor”, adding, “not at $10 million-plus”. Pittsburgh has signed a couple of outside free agents to big contracts in recent years, but those deals have averaged half that value per year.
Of course the Steelers are going to have interest in Terrelle Pryor. He is a talented wide receiver who is still blooming. He has height, speed, and strength. Every team in the league is interested in that sort of player. But when people hear the word ‘interest’, they may get the wrong idea and think there is a realistic chance they will be in that player’s market.
The Steelers, it is far more likely than not, will not be players for Pryor, but we seem to be losing sight of the fact that there is a substantial market for him, and that he was one of the Cleveland Browns’ best players a year ago.
Cleveland is at serious risk of losing an important component of an offense that they are trying to rebuild, this in spite of the fact that Pryor has gone on record saying that he wants to re-sign with the Browns, and despite previous optimism that a deal would be reached between the two parties in advance of free agency.
At this point, that does not appear likely to happen, as the legal tampering season opens in a few short hours, and the fact of the matter is that we have already heard that several other teams who are more realistic suitors are also interested in him.
From the same article that Alex cited yesterday, the Giants, Eagles, 49ers, and Titans are all early potential suitors for Pryor’s services, and this is before teams can even officially contact his agent to express said interest. This is simply sources from those teams who have told Cleveland.com that they are interested.
The 49ers just released Torrey Smith and have over $100 million in cap space. The Giants let go of Victor Cruz and would like a bigger body. The Eagles are always looking for wide receivers. The Browns know that they are going to have competition.
The article says that the belief is that they are currently far apart on the numbers, with his agent suggesting that he is going to see top receiver money. That seems like a stretch, but it only takes one team. The majority belief is that he will see a market figure in the $10-12 million range.