Terrelle Pryor could have signed a four-year deal with the Browns. He opted for a one-year deal with Washington.
“It’s something that we asked for, myself and my agents, for a one-year deal,” Pryor told Dan Patrick on Tuesday. “It’s kind of like a ‘prove it’ deal almost to a certain extent. I think a lot of people are thinking that this is a one-trick pony, like a one-time thing. You know, just out of nowhere I could catch 79 balls or whatever and go over 1,000 yards. I got a lot to prove and I really can’t wait. I look forward to it.”
Having Kirk Cousins (assuming he’s not traded to, you know, Cleveland) will help Pryor reach his ceiling as a receiver, wherever it may be. The closer he gets to it in 2017, the more likely his next contract will carry more years and/or more money.
That said, more players should push for shorter-term deals. Given that the four- and five-year contracts are typically one- or two-year deals with an annual team option for the rest, anyone who is playing in year three, four, or five of a contract arguably is underpaid — because if the player was overpaid, the contract would be torn up.
Regardless, then, of whether a player is trying to prove himself, it makes sense to do shorter deals and to keep going back to the free-agency trough, especially with the salary cap spiking and no player contracts accounting for that by giving a player a percentage of the total spending allotment.