Show me the money

posted by Bruce Hooley -

That old adage which says, You get what you pay for...it's only true if you don't pay too much for inferior quality.

That bring us to Terrelle Pryor and how the Cleveland Browns place the franchise tag on the former Buckeye. 

Pryor is a free agent and the Browns are trying to sign him to a long-term deal before March 7, when other teams can begin negotiating with him.

One of the tools the Browns have if they want to retain Pryor should they fail to agree on a multi-year deal is to renew his contract for one year at the average salary of the five highest-paid WRs in the league last year.

That would pay Pryor, a failed quarterback forced to switch to wideout last season, $15 million in 2017.

Now, I know the Browns are $100 million under the salary cap, but ask yourself this: Do you know any millionaires or multi-millionaires who voluntarily pay three times the asking price for anything?

Of course not. There's a reason rich guys pay $100,000 dollars for a $100,000 BMW rather than $300,000, even when they have several million in the bank.

The reason is, they may want to buy a boat, an airplane or something else with the extra $200,000.

Similarly, why would the Browns pay Pryor $15 million a year when they he's flat not worth that deal?

Are the Browns so long on talent they can afford to waste money they could spend on other free agents?

I'd pay Pryor like the No. 3 wide receiver he is, not the No. 1 wide receiver Browns fans want him to be.

Short of drafting North Carolina's Mitch Trubisky No. 1 overall, franchising Pryor for $15 million a year, and then having to turn around and negotiate with him again this time next year, would be about the dumbest thing the Browns have ever done.

And, believe me, that is not a short list of things to pick from.

I hear all you hybrid Buckeye and Browns fans crying, "Yeah, but Pryor had 1,000 receiving yards this season."

So what?

In a 16-game season, that's an average of 62 receiving yards per-game.

Do you know how many receivers averaged 62 receiving yards per-game in 2016?

Thirty-one....that's just about one per-team.

Do you know how many of them made $15 million last season?

One...Julio Jones.

No one is confusing Terrelle Pryor with Julio Jones except a blind man and Terrelle Pryor's agent, Drew Rosenhaus.

Rosenhaus said this week he wants to have "strong discussions" with the Browns to convey how serious Pryor is about sticking with the team.

I'd prefer Rosenhaus had strong discussions with reality. Then maybe he'd realize Pryor is a one-dimensional receiver who can run go-routes and that's it.

At 6-6, he ought to be great in the red zone or on the goal line and he isn't good an either one.

Delve deeper into the numbers and Pryor about 50th among NFL wideouts in 2016.

Are you paying a guy $15 million, or even giving him more than No. 3 wide receiver money, if he's the 50th-best in the league at his position?

Only if you're an idiot, which means it's a possibility in Cleveland.

Remember, Pryor was the Browns top target virtually all of last season because rookie Corey Coleman was hurt most the year.

No NFL team -- not even one as dreadful as the 1-15 Browns -- is going to get shut out in the passing game. If you throw it 30 times, someone is going to catch it 12-15 times.

And defenses are only too happy to let a team that's facing third-and-long -- which the Browns are in a lot -- catch balls behind the chains to force a punt.

That's how Terrelle Pryor caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards last season. Not because he's a star-in-the-making, and certainly not because he's worth making star money.

Offer him an incentive-laden, two-to-three-year contract with a base salary no higher than $2-$3 million a year, like a decent No. 3 receiver, because that's what he is.

And if Pryor can find a bigger deal elsewhere, show him the door, wish him well and laugh at whoever the moron is that paid a Corvette and got a used pickup truck.

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

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