Former Jeannette and Ohio State standout QB Terrelle Pryor will finally get his shot in the NFL, signing a 4-year, $2.7 million deal with the Oakland Raiders. But don't get too excited. He won't be playing in any regular season games just yet, as he must serve a five-game suspension handed down by Commissioner Roger Goodell. Pryor is allowed to practice with the Raiders starting today, and would be able to play in the Raiders' third pre-season game against New Orleans, yet it is very doubtful that he will actually get on the field. Then he must serve a suspension similar to that of Ben Roethlisberger's where he cannot practice or play in any games.
For those unfamiliar with Pryor's situation here's a quick rundown:
-He led Jeannette to a perfect season and AA State Football Championship in 2007 and subsequently signed with Ohio State.
-He played for Ohio State from 2008-2010, having arguably his best season last year where he threw for 2,772 yards and ran for 754 yards, leading the Buckeyes to a Sugar Bowl victory.
-In the Spring of 2011, news broke that Pryor was involved in an NCAA investigation after being accused of trading signed Ohio State memorabilia for tattoos and other incentives.
-In light of the scandal, Pryor forfeited his senior season, which made him eligible for the NFL's supplemental draft. Oakland selected him in the third round. His suspension in the NFL is the same suspension that he would have served for the NCAA had he remained at Ohio State.
Will Pryor be successful and truly make an impact after returning from suspension? Is Oakland a good fit for him? Personally, I don't think that he is going to find the mentor that he desperately needs. We saw it before with Roethlisberger, and we may just see it again with Pryor. Roethlisberger came into the league and was extremely successful very quickly. Then, he had a string of unfortunate events and poor choices that showed his immaturity and lack of guidance. On the other hand, Pryor is accustomed to success- first at Jeannette and then at Ohio State. Right now, I just don't see the mentor that he has to have at Oakland. Currently the Raiders' rostered quarterbacks include Jason Campbell, Kyle Boller and Trent Edwards- none of which have been particularly successful. Campbell was with Washington and has struggled since arriving at Oakland (remember last year's Steelrs demolition of the Raiders?) and Boller played some time with the Ravens and St. Louis but never really made a great impact. Edwards played for the Bills from 2007 to 2010, and then for the Jaguars, but didn't have the kind of success and experience that would lead him to be a suitable role model for Pryor.
Pryor says he will appeal his suspension, but it is highly unlikely that Commissioner Goodell will overturn or shorten it. Maybe five games on the bench will give Terrelle Pryor some perspective and allow him to enter the NFL with a positive outlook and good decision-making skills.