Fantasy Impact: Terrelle Pryor signs with the Redskins

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Mar 10, 2017

Terrelle Pryor and the Redskins agreed to terms on a one-year contract, taking one of the final big name wide receivers off the market.

One of the last big names left in the free agent wide receiver pool, Terrelle Pryor, has signed a one-year deal with the Redskins. His contract now goes hand-in-hand with that of Kirk Cousins, who signed his franchise tag earlier in the day.

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When you see a wide receiver who’s about to turn 28 sign a one-year deal, it should make you wonder about the lack of interest there was on the open market. Either that or Pryor is betting on himself to build on his first 1,000 yard season. I’m thinking that it’s a combination of both. Pryor reportedly wanted $10 million per year, which led to the Browns drifting away and offering Kenny Britt a four-year, $32.5 million contract. After waiting multiple days, Pryor visited Washington Thursday night and left without a deal in place. It sounds like there were no other suitors, leaving him with no choice but to sign with the Redskins on Friday.

Pryor was the most polarizing free agent out there, as most either loved him or hated him. My stance has been, and still is, that it doesn’t matter how many years he’s been playing wide receiver – his age is his age, and wide receivers tend to start their decline at the age of 29. Because of that, Pryor didn’t deserve a massive contract on a handful of good games. If he performs this year on less volume and shows improvement, he deserves a multi-year contract to finish out his career.

When I say less volume, it’s because there are suddenly a lot of mouths to feed with the Redskins, despite the losses of both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. There are a lot of people who’ve already forgotten that the Redskins spent a lot more than the $8 million they are giving Pryor on last year’s first round draft pick, Josh Doctson. He is expected to be a full-go by the start of the season, giving Pryor plenty of competition in the target column.

Over the last three seasons, Cousins’ target distribution to his wide receivers has been fairly consistent:

Targets Per Game 2014 2015 2016
DeSean Jackson 5.7 4.9 5.9
Pierre Garcon 6.5 6.8 6.9
Jamison Crowder/Andre Roberts 6.0 4.6 5.8

Seeing the above chart, it’s fair to say that Cousins doesn’t lock on to one wide receiver, which is the reason none of them finished with more than 114 targets in any year. You want to keep that in mind when projecting Pryor for 2017, as he finished with 140 targets in 2016.

His targets are going to be much better in 2017 coming from Cousins, leading many to believe he’s a solid WR2 in fantasy, but I’d err on the side of caution when coming to that conclusion. If all holds true with Cousins’ target distribution, we should expect anywhere in between 90-115 targets for Pryor. In 2016, there were just two wide receivers with less than 115 targets to finish as a top-24 wide receiver. Those receivers were Rishard Matthews and Tyreek Hill, who both scored touchdowns at an alarming rate in 2016. While that is not out of question for the 6’4” Pryor, the Redskins brought in Josh Doctson to help in that area of the field. On top of that, there has been no wide receiver to play with Cousins to score more than seven touchdowns (Crowder in 2016).

Going through all of what we just talked about with the wide receivers, then adding in tight ends Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis, it’s safe to say that I won’t be owning many Pryor shares this season. If you’re able to get him as a WR3, he’s well worth that risk, but by paying for his upside with a top-24 wide receiver pick, you’re getting no built-in equity.

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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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