The NFL franchise tag deadline passed, and there were no big surprises. Seven players were tagged, including linebacker Chandler Jones, defensive tackle Kawann Short, linebacker Melvin Ingram, cornerback Trumaine Johnson, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, running back Le’Veon Bell, and quarterback Kirk Cousins. Bell and Cousins were given the exclusive tag, which means they cannot negotiate with any other teams.
A notable name avoided the tag, with the Cleveland Browns choosing to not use it on wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. The team announced the decision, and that they are continuing negotiations with Pryor.
Pryor is coming off a career-year in 2016, finishing the year with 77 receptions for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns. It would be a big year for most receivers, but it is all the bigger considering it was Pryor’s first full season as a receiver. The one-time quarterback made the switch when he joined the Browns, and took to it nicely this past year.
I am a little surprised the Browns did not use the tag on Pryor. It makes a lot of sense for a guy who has only one year of production under his belt. If the two sides cannot work out a long-term deal, it gives the Browns a chance to see what he can do with a second season. If he builds on his numbers, then open up the vault. If he takes a step back, then not so much.
The wide receiver market is pretty solid this season, although every option has a notable question mark. Pryor is a guy who probably won’t get an Alshon Jeffery type deal, but would it surprise anybody to see a team open up the vault and roll the dice on him building on the one year?