Browns’ analytics department may not be high on Terrelle Pryor

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Browns receiver Terrelle Pryor was one of the surprise breakout stars of the 2016 NFL season, a former quarterback who played a brand new position and led an otherwise lousy passing offense with 77 catches for 1,007 yards. So why do the Browns appear poised to let Pryor test free agency tomorrow, rather than locking him up to a long-term contract?

The answer appears to be that the analytics department in Cleveland isn’t quite sold on Pryor.

Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland reports that Pryor thinks he can get more than $12 million a year in free agency, and the Browns’ valuation of Pryor is way below that figure. A big part of sports analytics, especially in a league like the NFL with a hard salary cap, is putting a monetary value on a player and making sure he doesn’t take up more cap space than he’s worth, and so while the Browns may like Pryor, they apparently don’t like him enough to pay him the kind of money he thinks some other team will pay him.

From all indications, Browns head coach Hue Jackson is a fan of Pryor’s. Jackson was the Raiders’ head coach when they drafted Pryor (as a quarterback) in 2011, and Jackson was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator when they gave Pryor a shot at earning a roster spot in the 2015 offseason. But Jackson doesn’t call the shots on player contracts.

So if the Browns’ analytics suggest that Pryor is unlikely to play well enough to justify an eight-figure salary, Pryor will see if he can get an eight-figure salary elsewhere. Perhaps as soon as tomorrow.

66 responses to “Browns’ analytics department may not be high on Terrelle Pryor

  1. In the upcoming draft the Browns better not screw the pooch and just draft the best player available.

  2. If he is looking for $12M then he should find that the Browns aren’t the only team that aren’t all that high on Terrelle Pryor. Salary cap slotting is nothing new in the NFL, NE has been doing it rather successfully for the last 16 years.

  3. Analytics pshh sometimes u just need to keep some of the good players on your team in tact in order to keep building hope they keep pryor

  4. He had a career high of 77 catches for 1007 yards with 4 TD’s. To me it doesn’t take an expect to determine the production does not equal 12 million dollars per season.

    To me that doesn’t seem like smart money.

  5. Pryor was given a chance on a crappy team. He’s at best a 3rd receiver with aspirations to be a number 2. That’s at best his price range.

  6. I wonder what Julian Edelman must be thinking seeing lesser receivers demanding twice what he is getting? What I’m thinking is that 2017 will be Edelman’s final year in Foxboro.

  7. Every team completes due diligence on players and assigns their value. The Patriots are masters at not over-paying and waiting for value.

    To me this is the Browns year to make inroads, they have the largest cap space, the most draft picks and have cleared out the old culture… we will see if they can truly determine talent.

    Garrett is a no-brainer as the first pick, they signed Collins and have some good 2nd year players on defense….I expect their D to be improved.

    With the 12th pick if Mitch T or Watson is there they will draft their QB. I also expect them to sign 1-2 offensive lineman in free agency.

    The front office has 2 years left to show progress before Haslam blows it up again.

  8. Some knucklehead team will give him that amount. I don’t trust Pryor – ran his mouth non stop, got to be a distraction on a 1 win team which is saying something.

  9. .
    For those of us who enjoy the draft process, the decisions Cleveland makes on draft day will be most interesting. I can’t remember a time when a team went into a deep draft with so much capital . It’s hard to see how they can miss.

  10. The Browns analytics department traded away the number two pick last year because it didn’t like Wentz. The analytics department is run buy a baseball guy whose claim to fame is he latched onto Billy Beane. Cleveland sucks and will continue to suck. They can pile up draft picks till 2050 they will still be the 76ers.

  11. The problem with their line of thinking is that most sought after free agents (be it their own or from other teams) will be able to make more money from other teams than the (seemingly arbitrary) amount of money that the Browns analytics department comes up with. Add that to the fact that the Browns aren’t exactly a preferred destination for most free agents…they don’t offer good weather, guaranteed winning like the Patriots/Packers, nor advantageous tax laws like Titans and Florida teams. So unless they overpay, they’re not going to get good free agents or retain their own…which seriously puts a dent in their “build through the draft” strategy. They’re going to develop the guys they draft, then lose them to other teams when they’re in their primes…

  12. I am really glad the Browns organization is doing things in a more sane manner. Their turnover rate in GMs and coaches (each with a new system for players to try to learn and adjust to), and each new Gm/coach’s (ego-fueled?) propensity to jettison prior coaches’ mid-round draft picks just when they’re becoming effective, created a disasterous situation that won’t be fixed overnight, or even in two years.

    A little patience, a little continuity, and some rationality in player acquisition and development, are what this organization has desparately needed for quiet some time.

  13. Another example of how ‘broken’ the Browns are.

    Football is not baseball.

    Football stats (especially offensively) are dependent upon so many other factors (QB, running game, offensive flow, system, offensive line, the score, etc.) whereas baseball is more of a one-on-one sport. There is some degree of statistical impact in baseball based on things like batting order (player ‘protection’) and situation, but not even close to the amount of football therefore this statistical analysis as a primary contributing factor to player/cost evaluation by the Browns is dumb, dumb, dumb.

  14. Even if the “Russians”/CIA hacked the Browns analytics machine, would there by any worthwhile info to share?

  15. He may not get 12 but i believe he can get 10mil a year. But then it comes down choosing between the Browns or another team.

    I guess the analytics department probably hasn’t factored in that they have to overpay just to get people to come to cleveland and the Browns.

  16. Sure, blame “analytics” for not wanting to pay a one-year wonder $12 million. And then you have articles ripping the Osweiler signing as a one-year wonder.

  17. It would serve these Browns/Clowns right if they let him walk and he keeps getting better, which is possible if he ends up with a quality QB. —————————————————- Gonna be a tough sell to get top flite players to come to Cle

  18. Not that I think Pryor is a #1 or anything…

    but the track record of the “Browns analytic department” isn’t exactly stellar, is it?

    Maybe this is the Browns taking baby steps toward being a real football team again, though. Lord knows their fans deserve a break.

  19. “A big part of sports analytics”

    It takes “analytics” to figure out that 4 TDs a season isn’t worth $12 million? He had a nice enough year but there’s the little fact that SOMEBODY is going to catch the passes being thrown. That doesn’t automatically mean the guy doing so is a great receiver.

  20. Dude is 6’6″, 240 pounds, ran a 4.38 at his combine and had a 1,000 yard receiving season in his first at the position for a team without a quarterback. He will get paid.

  21. Analytics aside, the eye test shows that Pryor is a talented WR who, with his combination of speed, size, strength, and hands, is a tough match-up for most DBs in the league. He had those numbers playing for a team without a legit QB and few other threats on offense. I agree that he is not worth $12m per year, but probably worth not much less. Would look very good in Eagles green, paired with Wentz…

  22. You want to see a success story of analytics, look no further than the Bears. In two years of Phil Emery practicing that mumbo jumbo they have vaulted straight into the ranks of NFL bottom feeders and have another year or two of work yet by the current GM before things start turning around.

    Look for guys who are big, strong, fast, keep their noses relatively clean and know how to play football. It’s not any harder than that.

  23. not sure all the hate is warranted against Pryor..unlike another qb that shall remain unnamed, Pryor took the time and transformed not only his position but his whole approach to playing the game of football–took a huge step in establishing himself as a receiver–just ask yourself a question, if a rookie came in last season and did what Pryor did, would you be impressed? the unfortunate thing for Cleveland is that he is not a rookie and is up on contract and they are unsure, than why the hell did they not put at least a transitional tag on him to see if he could do it again? Now they will watch him walk out the door and put up another 1k season for another team.sad.

  24. He’s not going to get $12 million. He’ll get closer to $10mil and Browns will match whatever offer he’s given. Regardless he won’t get the $15-16mil that the franchise tag would’ve given him. Keep criticizing the Browns for not using the franchise tag on Pryor… no question that the Browns will bring him back and save money. Smart and easy decision here.

  25. Pryor is looking for $12m with one 1,000 yd season on his resume averaging 13.2 Y/C and in half of his games he was held below 50 yds. Meanwhile, Desean Jackson is reportedly looking for $11m and has been tearing it up for 9 years with a career average of 17.7 Y/C. Say what you want about the Browns front office but it doesn’t seem they are the ones deciding Pryor is over priced, he is doing that all by himself.

  26. I don’t think you guys actual realize how crazy the NFL market is about to be. Maybe not as crazy as the NBA free agent market after their spike in revenue but this week you’re about to see monster contracts handed out to people.

    Antonio Brown set the top end wide receiver market at $17 million per season. For a younger wide receiver who in his first full season had 1000 yards playing with a rotation of average to below average QBs Pryor will get paid very very well by someone. $12 million per season will not surprise me at all. In this market that money isn’t even superstar wide receiver money.

  27. The Cleveland Browns braintrust, now that’an oximoron if I ever heard one. These are the same baseball imbeciles who didn’t put value on Carson Waentz and how did that turn out.

  28. As a life long Browns fan they give me yet another reason to wonder why?! They took a chance on him, he worked hard for them, produced and now they are too cheap and stupid to pay what is fair. So he will leave, someone else will reap the benefits of the time Cleveland invested in him when no one else would. Way to go Sachi and company! The factory of misery will continue until these morons are gone!

  29. I don’t know about Pryor’s allegedly becoming a distraction, but I do know that he was targeted 140 times for his 77 catches, a catch rate of 55% of the passes thrown to him. His avg/catch was 13.1 yds, and he scored 4 TD’s.
    The wild card factor in all that is the Browns highly unsettled QB situation last season. Where as Big Ben, Flacco, and Dalton were throwing to the receivers on their respective teams, the Browns pretty much didn’t know from one game to the next who was going to be at QB?
    Pryor has only played WR for one season, and is only 27. This will be an interesting story to see how it falls out.

  30. If the Browns let Pryor walk it will be the worst decision in football! This guy is a dream WR, who wants to be great, Pryor is big, strong, and fast. Pair him with Coleman, Gordon, House and Gary and they have a top ten receiving corp. Improve the defense and the OL and they are immediately a better team. The Browns are the Browns so they will find a way to screw it up……….

  31. factschecker says:
    Mar 8, 2017 8:49 AM
    He had a career high of 77 catches for 1007 yards with 4 TD’s. To me it doesn’t take an expect to determine the production does not equal 12 million dollars per season.

    To me that doesn’t seem like smart money.
    And it was his first season as WR, and who was throwing him the ball? Seriously. I don’t know. Who was the QB over there?

  32. This is a guy you want on your team. He was dedicated enough and worked hard enough to switch positions and actually succeed in doing so. This is not easy to do at all. He had to put aside his ego and not let his pride come before his fall out of the NFL unlike other prideful QBs who refused to switch and are out of job in the NFL.

  33. The regime is running an experiment, and Browns fans in the end are also the lab animal.

    So far all they’ve done is get rid of talent, while wasting picks and opportunities. Alex Mack and Taylor Gabriel are just two of the good talents they got rid of.

    The smartest guys in the room also believe derivatives are safe, except for 2008 and the biggest bust in the history of mankind ahead. (hint it’s an extortion racket where we either bail them out, or the FDIC has trillions in payments.)

    These guys are educated morons.

    There’s a place for analytics, as a secondary check it source or eye opening Xth option, but any 100 percent true believer followers are morons.

    Complete and utter morons taught to be stupid.

    Guess which ones the Browns front office is?

    They’d run off a cliff if their analytics told them they could fly…. and that’s the point.

    Never shut your mind out of the process.

    What morons.

    Sorry Browns fans, you don’t deserve this.

  34. @ 6ball says:
    Mar 8, 2017 9:01 AM

    It’s hard to see how they can miss.

    This is Cleveland…unfortunately they seemingly always do. I’m surprised the mobs with pitchforks and torches haven’t used Haslam as a piñata yet. Their fans deserve better.

  35. In the game against Miami, there was a point (I think in the 2nd quarter) when he led the team in passing, rushing, and receiving yards. Think about that for a second.

    To put the icing on the cake, he wasn’t just a gadget player – he was their #1 WR, with 77 catches despite having a rotating tackling dummie at quarterback. The coaching staff literally pulled a starting QB who was having an average game, just so a less-talented QB could play in the second half.

    I understand that on a good or average team, his value might not be north of $12 million. But when everyone else on your team stinks, it certainly helps to have one super-talented player who can at least keep things respectable.

    How can you build upon a base that has no consistency? You can’t. And that’s been what the Browns have been doing for years.

  36. Great WRs directly impact a game with 6 or 7 catches and earn $12-$16 million.
    Solid WRs directly impact a game with 4 or 5 catches and earn $5-$6 million.
    A great TE directly impacts a game on most every play when you factor receiving, run blocking, pass blocking …at a 50% discount of what great WRs are paid.
    And what kind of roster does VII Rings Bill Belichick build?
    Hint….Belichick was an Economics major who has written the book on NFL “value” and “market mispricing.”
    Interesting how the Patriots budget WRs, budget RBs, and quality TEs create a top 5 scoring offense every year…..while the star driven teams that over value the big WR rarely have sustained success.

  37. The Browns analytics department may not be high on Terrelle Pryor. However, it is abundantly clear that they must be high on something.

    How many great franchises allow their most talented URFAs walk year after year?

    2016 it was Mack and Schwartz, Gabriel and Gipson.
    2017 Pryor + ….

    “Well we aren’t going to compete in 2017 anyway. So we won’t over spend now.”

    No. You will never compete if you habitually let the most talented players walk out the door, and try to replace it with other teams’ cast-offs.

    This FO is incompetent.

  38. I feel like what gets lost in all the numbers is

    A) he plays on a terrible team, with spotty qb play and no help opposite him. He earned every yard he got.
    B) he is still learning the position. As a transition from qb to wr, those numbers are respectable on a 1-15 team.
    C) I’m hearing his teammates support him and he WANTS to be in Cleveland.
    D)$100+ million in cap space. Who/what are they saving it for? They don’t hand out trophies for lowest cap number. If they did, it’d be the saddest award ever.

  39. Did they factor into those numbers how pathetic the Browns are and he did that with a revolving door at QB? I’m not sure if he’s worth $12M but if he put up those numbers playing for the Browns imagine what numbers he could put up on a team that is better than a Pop Warner Team (Browns). If they go based solely on numbers then they should consider the number of wins Cleveland had last year and pay their front office personnel accordingly. If they are letting bean counters run the show then Browns fans can look to another ten years of being awful.

  40. MONEYBALL: Penny wise, Pound foolish.

    Jimmy Haslam: No screwing with the “blue-collars” in the NFL…these guys have agents.

  41. As good as he’s been at switching positions, this bum cost the Browns at least two wins last year with his BS antics.

  42. “IF” the Browns and their analytics had proven anything up to this point I might give them some credit BUT with Terrelle proving his determination, skill set and complete change of position to be their # 1 receiver then I think they’re absolutely CLUELESS. If they’re looking for yet another QB who can lead the offense it stands to reason that if you already have a “Decent WR” then that’s one LESS offensive weapon to have to trade for. At least TRADE him for someone to enhance the offense. What a load of crap, the “Factory of Sadness” is at it again. They will NEVER get better especially in the immediate future !!!!!

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