Seattle has one of the most stable starting quarterback situations in the NFL, with Russell Wilson leading the Seahawks to a Super Bowl title last season in only his second year in the league.
The Seahawks, though, suddenly have lots of competition behind Wilson after making a trade Monday that surprised many around the NFL. Seattle acquired one-time Ohio State phenom Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders in exchange for its seventh-round choice in the upcoming NFL draft, which is the 247th selection overall.
Seattle seemed set at quarterback last month after re-signing veteran Tarvaris Jackson, the team’s starter in 2011 and backup in 2013.
But Seattle general manager John Schneider indicated in a quote released by the team that Pryor’s talents and potential were simply too much to ignore when he became available.
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“Terrelle is an incredibly explosive athlete and we’re excited for him to come in and compete,” Schneider said.
It’s also possible the Seahawks will try the 6-foot-4, 233-pounder at receiver or tight end — he caught one pass for 22 yards with the Raiders in 2012. Seattle also has B.J. Daniels on its roster at quarterback and the Seahawks have at times toyed with using him as a receiver as well, showing their willingness to try quarterbacks in different roles.
Pryor, 24, started nine games for the Raiders in 2013, his third season with the team. But he never really grabbed hold of the job, completing 57 percent of his passes for 1,798 yards while throwing seven touchdowns compared with 11 interceptions. The Raiders were just 3-6 in his starts.
Pryor also played against Seattle in an exhibition game last August, going 3 for 8 for 31 yards and an interception and running three times for 48 yards in a 22-6 Seahawks’ victory at CenturyLink Field.
Pryor came to the Raiders in 2011 in a cloud of controversy due to his role in a scandal at Ohio State that cost coach Jim Tressel his job.
Pryor was one of five players suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of the 2011 season for receiving improper benefits — notably tattoos — as well as selling championship rings and jerseys.
Instead of serving the suspension, Pryor declared for the NFL Supplemental Draft, where he was taken in the third round by the Raiders.
Pryor, a product of Jeannette, Pa., was one of the top recruits in the country in the Class of 2008 and became an immediate sensation at Ohio State. He eventually led the Buckeyes to three consecutive Big Ten titles as well as victories in the 2010 Rose Bowl and 2011 Sugar Bowl, going 31-4 as a starter.
Pryor threw for 6,177 yards and rushed for 2,164 at Ohio State, where he was regarded as one of the team’s fastest players.
He put that athleticism on display last season when he ran for a 93-yard touchdown against the Steelers, the longest run by a quarterback in NFL history.
But his 69.1 passer rating in 2013 ranked 36th of the 37 NFL quarterbacks who had enough attempts to qualify, causing the Raiders to look elsewhere for a QB.
Pryor has a base salary of $705,000 for 2013, the final year of his rookie contract. He will become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Staff reporter Jayson Jenks
contributed to this report.