Appeared on WONE Ohio last week to talk Terrelle Pryor and the Battle of the Bay.
Reports surfaced early Thursday that Terrelle Pryor had agreed to terms with the Raiders. Of course, Raiders executive John Herrera denied the report, but said Pryor would hopefully sign his deal tonight.
Well, now it is official, Terrelle Pryor has signed his contract and the Raiders have announced he will be on the field Friday in Napa.
Friday marks the final day of training camp and it will be interesting to see how the Raiders handle Pryor before breaking camp.
The timing couldn’t be better. The Raiders will showcase Pryor for one day at camp before returning to the uber-secret facility in Alameda where they can start to starch and iron Pryor’s warts.
Pryor’s deal is worth $2,808,100 over four years if he hits all the playing time incentives. In 2011, $586,000 is guaranteed with a base salary of $375,000. In 2012, he will earn $485,000 and $20,300 available in playing time incentives. In 2013, his salary will be $595,000 with a playing time incentive of $40,700. In 2014, his salary will be $645,000 with a 61,100 play-time incentive.
Very reasonable deal for a boom or bust type prospect like Pryor. The best comparison I’ve heard is Seneca Wallace, but Pryor is bigger and faster than Wallace.
With Pryor’s deal complete that leaves just one lingering question? Are the Raiders going to bring in a linebacker?
The Raiders have been in constant contact with Lofa Tatupu, but have been looking for a player that can play outside linebacker. There is much concern if Tatupu would be effective outside or would be more of an insurance policy for Rolando McClain.
Keith Bulluck’s name has been floated by some as a potential outside linebacker option.
The Raiders might pull the trigger on Tatupu or a player like Bulluck in the next few days or wait until cuts are made around the league to see what kind of quality is available at linebacker.
Tatupu and Bulluck probably don’t have a ton of suitors, so the Raiders can afford to gamble and wait to see what kind of player become available over the next two weeks.
Per Jaz Glazer of Fox Sports, Kirk Morrison has signed with the Buffalo Bills. If the Raiders wanted to bring in a linebacker, they are down to Lofa Tatupu as the only remaining serviceable option.
The Raiders were already thin at linebacker before losing Travis Goethel for the season to a knee injury.
Behind starters Kamerion Wimbley, Rolando McClain and Quentin Groves the Raiders have Sam Williams, Darryl Blackstock, Bruce Davis II, Bani Gbdayu and Chris Francis.
That’s an extremely thin group of linebackers and the Raiders will be looking at cuts around the league to shore up the group.
Yes, the Raiders selected Terrelle Pryor with a third-round pick in the 2012 draft via the supplemental draft.
Most scouts believe Pryor isn’t a great fit as a quarterback in the NFL, but the Raiders didn’t waste a third-round pick to immediately covert him to receiver.
Pryor is lucky enough to possess elite physical tools. He ran a 4.4 second 40-yard dash at 6’5″ and 230 pounds. While he has a long way to go as a quarterback, he has all the needed physical tools to be successful.
With no long-term solution at quarterback on the roster, the Raiders are wise to take the chance on Pryor. If the team doesn’t feel like he is progressing as a quarterback he can be converted to receiver down the road.
Hue Jackson and Al Saunders will attempt to mold Pryor into an NFL quarterback and they have a few good things going for them. Pryor is motivated to be good. He’s not receiving a $30 million signing bonus and will need to put in the work to earn a big payday.
Warts aside, Pryor loves football and if he puts in the work the Raiders may indeed have themselves a quarterback. Pryor chose Ohio State because he believed they would prepare him for the pro game.
Pryor can also have an impact in special packages until he is ready to take the reigns of the offense. Putting Pryor on the field and giving the defense another player to worry about is never a bad idea.
It was a wise decision to take the chance on Pryor now, with no quarterbacks on the roster with contracts past the current season.
This isn’t wise because as history suggests the Raiders are unable to develop a young quarterback.
The Raiders haven’t developed quarterback since Jim Plunkett and even in Plunkett’s case you could argue he just wasn’t put in the right situation before he came to Oakland. It’s been a long time since the Raiders have developed a franchise quarterback and the Raiders haven’t selected the easiest of candidates to develop, Pryor is no exception.
Pryor will need to clean up his mechanics, make better decisions and learn the offense before the Raiders can lean on him as starter. He has a long way to go.
In many ways Jason Campbell is more typical of Raiders quarterback, an outcast veteran that didn’t have much success at his prior stops. Chances are if Campbell is effective in 2011 the Raiders will give Pryor a full two seasons of development before trying to turn to him as the guy to lead the team.
Risk is all about money committment and the new draft process and rookie wage scale made Pryor a low-risk, high-reward option for Al Davis and he instantly becomes the Raiders only long-term option and the pressure will be on the coaching staff to make something of Pryor as a quarterback.
The preseason hasn’t been kind to the Raiders. After Saturday’s game, their first team has been crippled with injuries. Luckily the preseason is the time when the second team can step up and get in some playing time; it also means that the first team can get some necessary rest.
Quarterback Jason Campbell left Saturday’s game after getting clocked with a knee to the helmet. Concussion tests were run to assess the damage and Coach Jackson said that he anticipates Campbell being in practice on Monday. This was initially scary particularly because of the stinger that took Campbell out for part of the season last year.
Kevin Boss taking Zach Miller’s place at tight end was an overall good move, but now the depth at the position is in question. Boss is currently listed as week-to-week with a knee injury. There’s no word on whether he will be able to play in the home opener. Wide receiver Chaz Schilens is also week-to-week with a knee injury, but Coach Jackson has said that he could come back soon.
Jacoby Ford, one of the most electrifying and reliable players on the Raiders’ offense, has a broken hand. He was able to remove his hand brace this week and may be ready for the last preseason game and the season opener, but there’s no guarantee at this point.
Louis Murphy’s hamstring is still healing and won’t be ready in time for week 1. His injury leaves Darrius Heyward-Bey to be the main receiver for the season opener. DHB has looked good during preseason and will be essential once the regular season begins. Denarius Moore, third on the depth chart, has been playing like anything but a rookie, which is good since he may be starting week 1.
The good news is that last season the Raiders ran the ball very well and Darren McFadden is ready for game time. Michael Bush was critical to the team’s success last year and will be this year too. While the passing offense is healing, expect to see a lot of these two and rookie Taiwan Jones running the ball up the field.
Darren McFadden’s most recent injury has made it even more clear how important it is for the Raiders to ink a long-term deal with restricted free agent Michael Bush.
On Thursday, coach Hue Jackson revealed that McFadden was out for at least two weeks with an orbital fracture. Michael Bush signed his restricted free agent tender on Saturday, after a practice Friday in which Louis Rankin and Rock Cartwright took all the snaps.
In a press conference a few days ago, Jackson joked saying that McFadden looked handsome and he had no doubt the running back will return in two weeks. Jackson also reminded every one of last preseason when McFadden missed a considerable amount of time due to a hamstring injury and came back to have 1157 yards and a break-out season. Still, McFadden has yet to play an entire season without missing time.
It’s the elephant in the room-McFadden is prone to injury.
There is a severe lack of depth in the Raiders running-back depth chart. After McFadden and Bush, there is rookie Taiwan Jones and veteran Rock Cartwright. If Bush isn’t re-signed long-term, the Raiders will need to find another back, or hope that Jones is ready to take over for Bush next season. It’s no small task and Taiwan Jones isn’t exactly the “bruiser” that is needed as a change-of-pace to McFadden.
McFadden should return before the season starts, but the Raiders need to work something out with Bush, because there isn’t a back on the roster that can replace him.
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Michael Huff tweeted he was having breakfast with Michael Bush this morning in Napa. A short time later the Raiders announced Bush had re-signed.
Bush ends his quasi-holdout and reports to camp. The Raiders need the body as Darren McFadden broke his orbital bone and Rookie Taiwan Jones is nursing a hamstring injury. Michael Bennett also has a “nick” leaving Rock Cartwright to pick up the slack.
Bush should practice today for the first time in 2011 with the recently signed Kevin Boss.
The Raiders also signed receiver Chad Jackson. He’s another camp body with kick return skills.