Updated at 1:40 p.m.
There are two things in which Terrelle Pryor has no interest: speaking to the NCAA about playing at Ohio State and playing in the Canadian Football League.
“He doesn’t need a reason. He’s no longer a student-athlete,” Larry James, Pryor’s lawyer, said of the investigation into the Buckeyes’ football program, via the Associated Press. “They’re not going to give him or any other student-athlete any due process rights to speak of, so he’s moved on.”
The Saskatchewan Roughriders, who hold the negotiating rights to Pryor and had extended a preliminary offer, are out of luck, too. “They sent the package last night, I forwarded it to Terrelle and Terrelle said that he wasn’t interested today,” James said.
James said Pryor did not elaborate on his decision. “He did not go into discussion. He just said he’s not interested in the Canadian Football League. Obviously the offer was not sufficient to whet his taste buds.”
Pryor is hiring a trainer and an agent and is “definitely looking at the supplemental draft,” James said.
Filed at 11:11 a.m.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders have acquired the rights to Terrelle Pryor, but that doesn’t mean that he’ll play there — or that Saskatchewan (which is in almost no way like Columbus) would be the best place for him.
There’s plenty of debate about just where Pryor, who was 31-4 in an Ohio State career that, to put it mildly, has ended in controversy, should land. (The latest controversy? Allegations that he received $20,000-$40,000 from a Buckeyes booster.) He would have missed the first five games of his college season anyway, so looking for another place to play makes sense. But where? The CFL? The Roughriders may have the rights to Pryor, but it isn’t a certainty that he’ll play for them.
“It’s like I told [the Roughriders],” Pryor’s lawyer, Larry James, said, via the Associated Press. “My house is not for sale, but at the right price, it's on the market.”
The NFL is an option — if there is a supplemental draft — and naturally that would be Pryor’s first choice. But a supplemental draft is a Haynesworth-sized “if” because of the lockout. Does he wait to see if there’s a labor agreement in the next month or so, followed by a supp draft? Even if those pieces fall into place, success in the NFL isn’t a lock, despite the fact that Pryor passed for 6,177 yards and rushed for 2,164 yards. “I don’t see his skillset transitioning to the National Football League,” former quarterback Tim Hasselbeck said on ESPN.
Gil Brandt, the former Dallas Cowboys general manager who’s now an ESPN analyst, said: “When we look at him athletically I think he's a good athlete, but I don't think he's an athlete like Cam Newton [the Auburn quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 draft pick of the Carolina Panthers].”
Pryor could choose the UFL. The UFL’s regular season will end Oct. 15 and there’d be a chance that an NFL team might be interested in adding him as a reserve. A longshot possibility, but at least there’s a chance. There’s also precedent for the UFL, where Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett is playing for Omaha. (Omaha might not be a good spot for Pryor, though, after Clarett’s comments on OSU players being to blame for the scandal enveloping the football program.)
Or Pryor could stay away from football until next spring’s NFL draft. That would give him time to recover from ankle surgery and to train with a quarterback guru. It would also give Pryor a chance to prove that he’s a solid citizen.
“People are terrified [of his off-the-field issues],” NFL Network analyst Charles Davis told the Columbus Dispatch. “They want to really examine the kid as a person, because the stories you hear on the grapevine are not stories that excite you — stories about his leadership, how his teammates respond to him, how he was handled at Ohio State.”
James said he and Pryor will “go through the A, B, C options.” “We would try to get through next week in order to do our due diligence, in order to figure out where we are,” James said. “No. 1, try to figure out whether the NFL’s going to have a supplemental draft. If they are, what's the timetable and what's the protocol? Then we’d also explore what are the processes and procedures for the Canadian league and what would be the dates and deadlines and decisions to be made.”
What’s the best option for Pryor?