According to Mike Garafolo the New York Jets are trading former first round draft pick Calvin Pryor to the Cleveland Browns for inside linebacker Demario Davis. The trade of Pryor should be no surprise since the writing was on the wall from the minute the Jets drafted Jamal Adams in the first round last month. Davis has spent the first four years of his career with the Jets before signing with the Browns as a free agent last season.
From a monetary standpoint on it’s face it is an odd trade. Davis comes over to the Jets with a $3.8 million salary for the year while Pryor leaves with just a $1.6 million salary. For all of Pryor’s faults and his lack of a role for 2017 it is hard to see the Jets having to essentially pay $2.2 million to get rid of him. While some may argue that the Jets are high on Davis, it was just last year that they let him walk for essentially the same salary as he will earn this year so it should not be that.
It’s possible that the Jets could have gotten the Browns to eat some of the salary to balance out the trade or that they have worked out something else with Davis. It’s also possible that the Jets will work out a lower salary for David Harris to balance out the cost. If all things remain the same it’s an odd distribution to the position with Harris earning $6.5 million and the Jets having spent a first round pick on Darron Lee last year.
Pryor should get an opportunity to revive a career that never really got off the ground in New York. Ive likened Pryor for some time to Rams safety Mark Barron who essentially plays linebacker now. That is probably the best role for Pryor if he is willing to embrace that with the Browns.
For the Jets the trade of Pryor will mark the end of one of the worst periods in their history when it came to the draft. From 2012 to 2014 only one of the Jets four first round draft picks made it to the end of their rookie contract with the team. Linebacker/Defensive end Quinton Coples was released in the middle of his fourth year, Dee Milliner was cut at the start of his fourth year, and now Pryor was traded before year four began. Neither of the other two are still in the NFL. Sheldon Richardson is currently in the fifth year of his contract and the Jets had hoped to trade him last season but couldn’t find a buyer. If you want a big reason why the Jets are as bad as they are look no further than their drafts during that era.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.