The Oakland Raiders have traded away former owner Al Davis’ final draft pick, Terrelle Pryor. Just as it looked like the Raiders would cut the quarterback prospect, they were able to pull off a last-minute trade with the Seattle Seahawks, receiving a seventh round pick in this year’s draft. Pryor has been one of the most controversial figures in Oakland in recent memory. Many fans were die hard supporters who believed Pryor was not given enough of a shot in Oakland, while others never liked him to begin with and didn’t believe he’d ever be a starting quarterback. Now that his tenure with the Silver and Black is over, let’s focus on what we can take away from the trade.
Everyone in the NFL knew the Raiders and Pryor would part ways this offseason. Pryor had requested a trade after it became clear that he was not the favored quarterback in Oakland. The relationship between Pryor and the Raiders deteriorated quickly when the coaching staff felt that Pryor had hid the severity of a knee injury that resulted in a terrible performance against the New York Giants. Pryor lost the starting job to Matt McGloin, but was given another shot for the last game of the year. However, before the game was even played, Pryor’s agent made a public statement accusing head coach Dennis Allen of wanting and even setting up Pryor to fail. Even though his agent was fired a few months later, it was too little too late to fix things in Oakland.
Since it was clear Pryor would not be playing in Oakland come the start of the 2014 season, there simply was not a lot of motivation for teams to trade for him. While he impressed early in the season, his regression was bad and he looked downright awful at times. Most see him as a project at best and not an NFL quarterback at worst. With the Raiders determined to move on, it appeared as though they would simply cut him. Getting a seventh round pick from Seattle is preferable to an outright release. For Seattle, they get to jump ahead of the waiver wire (where they would’ve been the last team in line) and get a guy for very cheap.
At least a couple of teams were interested
Reports are that the San Francisco 49ers also attempted to trade for Pryor. Clearly, any bidding war that happened was not much of a war at all, since only a seventh round pick exchanged hands. But, it is noteworthy that there was this much interest at all. It denotes the fact that not only were those two teams interested, but had he been released a number of other teams likely would have been. The only benefit to trading for Pryor rather than waiting for his release was the ability to jump the waiver wire line. A team is only willing to do so if they believe other teams may be interested in the player. Had Pryor been released, there is a very significant chance he would not have made it to either San Francisco or Seattle.
A seventh round pick is valuable in the hands of Reggie McKenzie
While McKenzie has made some questionable decisions at the top of the draft, he has found some diamonds in the rough in the later rounds or via free agency. Rod Streater, who appears to be developing into a very good NFL receiver, was an undrafted rookie free agent. Same goes for McGloin, who has shown that he is, at the very least, a competent NFL backup. Tight end Mychal Rivera, who had a very good rookie campaign, was drafted in the sixth round, as was Stacy McGee, who looks like he could be a talent for years to come. Though not taken nearly as late as those guys, Sio Moore, who is one of the best young linebackers in the league, was an absolute steal in the third round. McKenzie has shown a talent for finding hidden treasures, so it would be unwise to discount the potential value of an additional seventh round pick.
Seattle found itself a great scout team quarterback to prepare for Colin Kaepernick
Pryor made a lot of sense for the Seahawks. If there is any quarterback in the league that you can compare Pryor to, it is Kaepernick. It appears the Seahawks and 49ers will be battling for the NFC West crown for years to come and any little advantage that either team can gain on the other could be critical. By grabbing Pryor, the Seahawks not only improved their depth, they also got one of the only people in the NFL who can replicate Kaepernick’s combination of size and speed. The ability of the Seattle defense to spend all week playing at the same speed they will see on Sunday is very valuable in a rivalry where both teams are so evenly matched.