The Browns' desire to retain Pryor isn't in question; the issue at hand is the price it would take to re-sign him. Should Cleveland slap Pryor with the franchise tag, the Browns would be on the hook to pay him north of $15 million in 2017. By comparison, Julio Jones and A.J. Green are scheduled to make $11.5 million and $10.3 million in base salary, respectively. The deadline to assign franchise tags is March 1. After that, Pryor and the Browns have until March 9 to reach a long-term deal or else the receiver will hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent. Pryor is progressing from the finger surgery he underwent in mid-January, as the video he posted on Twitter today revealed he's now able to hold weight in his right hand. Barring any sort of setback, he should be full go for the start of offseason workouts in April regardless of whatever roster he's on.
Pryor played Cleveland's final three regular season games with his finger injury, catching 14 passes on 24 targets for 149 yards over that span. Despite avoiding the sideline because of his ailment, Pryor was always expected to undergo surgery after the season to repair his problem. In doing so to start 2017, Pryor will now need to sport a cast for the next month, but he should have plenty of time to return to full health while fielding free agent offers this offseason.
Pryor was able to play through the finger issue during the latter portion of the 2016 season and ultimately surpassed 1,000 yards receiving in his first campaign as a wide receiver. He's expected to rehab in Cleveland, while the injury should be a distant memory by the time training camp rolls around.
In his first season as a full-time wide receiver, Pryor greatly exceeded expectations, finishing with 77 receptions for 1,004 yards and four touchdowns, despite rather subpar quarterback play. He's set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2017, and while Cleveland would surely love to have him back, he may have other thoughts. But no matter where he ends up, he should be considered a more-than-solid fantasy wide receiver going forward.
Pryor turned five targets into three catches for 36 yards in Saturday's 20-17 win over the Chargers.
Pryor finished second to tight end Gary Barnidge in both targets and yardage. The quarterback-turned-wide receiver has faded down the stretch with just 58 yards over the past three weeks. His poor chemistry with quarterback Robert Griffin may not be a problem in the season finale, though, as Griffin left this contest with a concussion and may not be cleared for action by then.
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