BEREA, OH (WOIO) - When it comes to financial turnarounds, not many NFL players are going to top Terrelle Pryor.
The quarterback-turned-wide receiver was out of football two years ago. He had flopped with the Raiders, been cut by the Seahawks, Chiefs, and Bengals, and even the Browns weren't sure they wanted him -- until Hue Jackson arrived. With Jackson on board this past March, the Browns tendered Pryor a one-year deal worth $1.67 million. More than 1,000 yards and 77 catches later, he's about to earn 10 times that much.
It's an incredible story of how dramatically things can change in the NFL, and how timing truly is everything in life. Pryor racked up more than 1,000 yards receiving while still learning on the job and watching his coaches shuffle through five quarterbacks. None of them threw for 1,400 yards. None of them remind anyone of a franchise quarterback.
Imagine what Pryor will able to do -- with his size and strength -- if he gets the chance to play with one? And when he knows what he's doing?
More than a few teams are imagining just that. That is why the Browns will have to pay up. The top receivers in football make between $10 and $15 million each year. Even if the Browns choose to hit Pryor with the franchise tag, to make sure that his development as a top-tier receiver continues, they're going to hit that range.
If they don't, some other team will.
Personally, I'd franchise him. I want to see the development continue. But I also want to see one more thing -- I want to see how he continues to handle the frustrations that come with playing for the Cleveland Browns. He lost his cool a few times last season, which is good -- he cares. More than some guys who seemingly have accepted losing.
But it's not going to get much easier next season. Can Pryor, who expects as much out of others as he expects out of himself, be content in this culture? And can he help lead the transition to a better one? It's worth it to the Browns to find out.
Money doesn't buy everything, certainly not happiness, but the Browns should start spending.