Is Terrelle Pryor more than a backup QB for the Seahawks?
At this point, no, according to GM John Schneider, who was happy to pick up the Oakland quarterback in exchange for Seattle’s seventh-round draft pick.
Seattle Times staff reporter
GM John Schneider is getting ready for the draft
QB Terrelle Pryor started nine games last season for the Oakland Raiders
RENTON – The 2014 NFL draft remains a week away.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider, though, already likes the look of the team’s final pick.
In Schneider’s eyes, anyway, that’s what Terrelle Pryor is after the Seahawks acquired him last week from Oakland for a seventh-round selection.
What Pryor also is, Schneider made clear when he met with media Wednesday in a session largely devoted to previewing the upcoming draft, is a quarterback.
When the trade was made, rumors swirled that the Seahawks might experiment with Pryor at other positions, because Seattle seems set at quarterback with Russell Wilson as the starter and veteran Tarvaris Jackson returning as a trusted backup.
Schneider, though, said there has been no talk of using Pryor, a 24-year-old former Ohio State star, as anything but a quarterback.
“Right now, he’s learning the quarterback position and (playing another spot) is not even an option,’’ Schneider said.
Schneider acknowledged that it’s hard not to look at the physical attributes of Pryor and not be intrigued by the non-quarterback possibilities. Pryor is listed at 6 feet 4 but Schneider referred to him as 6-5½, 245 pounds and having once been timed in the 40 in 4.36 seconds.
“The fantasy football guy in me is like, ‘Yeah, Kordell Stewart was great at it,’ ’’ Schneider said, referring to the former Pittsburgh QB who also played receiver.
But Schneider said the team acquired Pryor with the idea of adding depth and competition at quarterback.
Seattle has often kept just two quarterbacks on its active roster the past two years. But the Seahawks also had three for a while last season after signing B.J. Daniels, who is also signed for this season, and Schneider said Seattle would have no issue again carrying three quarterbacks on its 53-man roster
As for why the team gave up a draft pick for Pryor, Schneider said the Seahawks felt he has a better potential to pay off than the player the Seahawks would have taken with the 247th overall pick.
“Just to be able to acquire a player of that caliber in the seventh round,’’ Schneider said. “What our seventh round looks like right now, we felt the value was definitely there and it was worth it.’’
Schneider also said getting Pryor — who started nine games for the Raiders last year — continues to send a message that the organization will do whatever it takes to stay at an elite level. That the days of exploring every avenue to get better aren’t over just because the team is coming off a Super Bowl title.
Schneider said “We try to get in on every deal and listen to every deal that we possibly can. Sometimes there are a lot of deals that are just done between teams that you are not able to get your foot in the door.’’
In this one, though, Schneider had a way in, having worked for years with Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie in Green Bay.
Schneider knew the Raiders were looking to move Pryor, and likely to cut him, after having signed Matt Schaub to be the starter in 2014.
“Reggie and I are very good friends, and he believes in him,’’ Schneider said. “So we talked about him and knew that we wouldn’t be able to acquire (him) if he was released. We weren’t going to be able to get him on waivers. We knew that for sure.’’
• Schneider said “absolutely’’ when asked if WR Sidney Rice will be available for the start of the season. Rice, who tore an ACL on Oct. 28 at St. Louis, was recently re-signed after having been released in February in a salary cap-cutting move.
• Asked if the team will be able to sign Richard Sherman to a new contract or extension before the NFL draft, Schneider said “we’re not sure.’’ There continue to be indications, though, that the sides are close to a deal.
• Schneider said he did not know if WR Doug Baldwin will sign his second-round tender. Baldwin is a restricted free agent and the deadline is Friday for RFAs to field offers from other teams.
Once that deadline passes, Baldwin can negotiate a new, longer-term deal with Seattle or play the 2014 season on the terms of the tender, meaning one year and $2.187 million, and be an unrestricted free agent in 2015.
• Schneider said the team has not made a decision on whether to pick up the fifth-year option for the 2015 season on the contract of guard James Carpenter, their first- round pick in 2011. Carpenter is under contract for 2014 and the decision means only whether they secure his future now, or wait until later to make a new deal.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @bcondotta.