BEREA — Terrelle Pryor thought he could make plays and help the Browns win. He won’t get the chance.
The former Oakland quarterback, who made Cleveland’s roster as a wide receiver despite not catching a pass in the preseason, was waived Thursday — three days before the season opener against the New York Jets.
Pryor practiced Thursday and was in the locker room during the period it was open to reporters. Following a weight-lifting session, he was called upstairs and told he was no longer on the team. He almost immediately went on Twitter to say goodbye.
“Had great time at Cleveland,” Pryor wrote. “Happy to get opportunity at Cleveland and good luck this weekend vs jets!”
The Browns announced the Pryor move in a brief email in which he was barely mentioned. The team also claimed running back Robert Turbin, who reached an injury settlement on Wednesday with Seattle. Turbin is not expected to be ready to play for several weeks because of a high ankle sprain.
The Browns did not include any quotes about Pryor in their release.
Pryor made it through the final cuts for Cleveland’s 53-man roster despite appearing in just one exhibition. The former Ohio State star was slowed by a hamstring injury throughout training camp, and his chances seemed shaky during the last days of training camp. But his size and potential intrigued the Browns, who kept him and released rookie wide receiver Vince Mayle, a fourth-round pick.
But even after the 26-year-old Pryor made the team, Browns coach Mike Pettine cautioned that 6-foot-4, 225-pounder would have to produce to stay around.
“Terrelle is here because he showed that promise and that potential,” Pettine said Monday. “But again, once you make the 53 you have to be a productive member of the team. It’s hard to just have that be a project for a year.”
The Browns lined Pryor up at quarterback in their last exhibition game at Chicago, and it was expected the team might use him on read-option plays or special teams against the Jets. On Wednesday, Pryor changed his uniform number from 87 to 17.
The experiment ending leaves Pryor at another career crossroads. Hoping to prolong his playing days, Pryor transitioned to wide receiver after being waived by Kansas City and Cincinnati earlier this year. It’s possible Pryor could land elsewhere, but it will have to be with a team willing to be patient as he polishes his route-running skills.
After watching Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, a former quarterback now playing wide receiver, excel against Virginia Tech, Pryor was more encouraged his position change would succeed.
“An athlete’s going to be an athlete — period,” he said. “If you’re an athlete, with the right coaching, which I have in this building, you should be able to convert pretty easy. Obviously, there’s different things you’ve got to learn. But I’m an athlete. I hold myself to the highest standard, and I’m sure the coaches do as well. So that’s all I’m trying to do is get better every day and work on my craft.”
It’s stunning the Browns would sign Turbin since he’s injured and Cleveland is thin at running back. The 5-foot-10, 222-pounder made three starts in three seasons for Seattle, rushing for 928 yards on 231 carries.
NOTES: Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo recently had a pep talk with Dwayne Bowe, who was signed as a No. 1 wide receiver but listed as a third-stringer on the depth chart. “I told Dwayne we expect more out of him,” DeFilippo said. The Browns gave Bowe a two-year contract, with $9 million guaranteed. … The city’s prosecutor said the review of the assault complaint against Browns offensive line coach Andy Moller is not expected to be completed until next week. Moeller has been indefinitely suspended by the team.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL