Oct 13, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91) and defensive back Quintin Demps (35) during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Bay Area Buzz 4/22: Terrelle Pryor’s Departure; Warriors Change Of Plan


Terrelle Pryor, Al Davis’ last gamble, now someone else’s issue

Al Davis’ last philosophical talent acquisition, Terrelle Pryor, has moved on to colder, wetter and indisputably happier climes.

Pryor has been traded to Seattle for some odd bric-a-brac (a seventh rounder, although because of nine compensatory picks after Seattle’s choice). There he can serve as Russell Wilson’s backup, or backup backup depending upon how you view Tarvaris Jackson – a stylistic choice by head coach Pete Carroll that the concept of the modern mobile quarterback has to be a commitment rather than just a happenstance.

And the Oakland Raiders have the fifth pick in the NFL draft with which to create a new Pryor down the road. Draw your own Manziel-like conclusions.

Pryor, like most Raider quarterbacks in the post-Gannon era, worked with a substandard roster and an expansion-level organization, in that the post-Davis brain trust has spent two years trying to reconstruct the operation. Against those central truths, even a more technically accomplished Pryor stood little chance of success.

In Seattle, his path to starting again is blocked by a Super Bowl champion. Thus, he goes to a team that does not have to rush him into a savior’s role. The Seahawks thinkers can sharpen his technique while enhancing his gifts without having to do so under the metaphorical gun.

And the Raiders are still left with that No. 5, which probably will not be a quarterback only because there seems to be no draftable quarterback worthy of such organizational trust. They have addressed other needs with an active free agency splash, including starting quarterback Matt Schaub, but the longer term remains nebulous. General manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen reluctantly gave Pryor a look, but quickly hooked him when his shortcomings meshed with those of his teammates.

–Ray Ratto, CSNBayArea.com

Pryor departure necessary after soap-opera season

Terrelle Pryor is no longer a Raider. The 24-year old’s tumultuous tenure ended on Monday night, when he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks.

The Raiders got a seventh-round pick in return. They would’ve cut him for nothing.

This divorce was expected following a drama-filled 2013 season that ended beyond the point of no return.

Multiple sources indicated that Pryor and head coach Dennis Allen were oil and water. They never did mix well.

No matter what happened last season, this trade was a football-first decision. The team gave him nine starts in 2013 and a fair evaluation. Pryor was not in the Raiders future plans.

Pryor was Allen’s starting quarterback of necessity following Matt Flynn’s noodle-armed fall from grace. But Pryor surprised many with improved mechanics and a daring improvisational style. His high-wire act was always entertaining, and electrified a fan base clamoring for something to cheer for.

A few early wins and some respectable losses enhanced the Pryor mystique, which had grown since then owner Al Davis selected him in the third round of the 2011 supplemental draft.

There was something that drew Raiders Nation to Pryor. Maybe it was the raw athleticism, the untapped potential. Maybe it was the reverent way he talked about Al Davis. Or how he was always cool with a quote and ever grateful for his passionate fan base.

Pryor’s standing with the Raiders always had fault lines. Over time, they produced earthquakes. Some were small, like a poor practice or an inability to consistently run the offense as instructed.

Cracks eventually turned to caverns following a Nov. 10 loss to the New York Giants, when Pryor blamed poor performance on a knee injury in a postgame press conference.

Pryor made the grade II knee sprain – from which most athletic quarterbacks would miss time – seem inconsequential until it excused poor play. Matt McGloin took over as the starter then and didn’t relinquish it once Pryor got healthy.

Pryor carried a different disposition from then on, fluctuating between disenchanted, aloof and quietly defiant.

Then came the infamous rant from then-agent Jerome Stanley, who swore Allen set Pryor up to fail by starting him in the season finale against Denver. There was no turning back then. The Raiders were happy with McGloin as a backup and on the hunt for a veteran starting quarterback.

Pryor had no place in Oakland and, and when it became clear that Allen would be retained in 2014, the passer wanted out. The Raiders were happy to oblige, and surprisingly got something in return for a player who had fallen out of favor.

The great fear of trading a player like this is giving up too quickly, that he turns into a superstar for some other team. The Raiders made this move with conviction, ready to move on with Matt Schaub and McGloin and any other passer possibly taken in the upcoming draft.

While Pryor won’t get to a chance to start in Seattle – Russell Wilson owns that spot – he will have an opportunity to compete and develop in an offensive system suited to his skill set. He’s a free agent after the season and can revive his quest to start at that point, with another year on his belt. The kid’s only 24, and maybe the future will turn bright. He has tremendous work ahead before it does. He needs to show more consistent mechanics and decision-making within the standard framework of an offense. He needs to learn when to improvise, when to go for broke and when to play it safe.

The Raiders are happy to move on with an extra draft pick in hand and an extremely vocal pro-Pryor minority quelled for good.

–Scott Bair, CSNBayArea.com

Warriors find they can’t beat bay

The San Francisco Bay wins.

That’s what Joe Lacob and the Warriors learned. Their plans for a waterfront arena foundered, despite endless bluster, almost from the start of planning and now apparently have been abandoned.

The Chronicle reported online Monday that the Warriors have purchased property from Salesforce.com farther south, on Third Street in Mission Bay. They will own the property, rather than lease from the Port of San Francisco.

So the arena battle lines no longer will be drawn between pro-development types and environmentalists. Now the line is placed squarely between San Francisco and Oakland, which badly wants to hold onto the only NBA team in the Bay Area.

The Warriors might argue that red tape and intransigent politics foiled their plans for a showcase, showboat building plopped far out on two dilapidated piers in the bay.

But, really, it was the bay itself that thwarted the Warriors.

San Francisco is a small and beautiful city, floating on a shimmering bay. That is its defining characteristic. And though the bay’s views have been obstructed and its waters mistreated over the years, most people would pick the waterfront over just about anything else in San Francisco. They are loyal to it. And they will fight for it.

The Warriors, as it turned out, didn’t have the appetite for that fight. With Proposition B – which would require a vote on proposed developments that exceed existing limits – steaming toward passage in June, the Warriors knew they would have to take their project to the ballot box. And all early signs were pointing to an election rejection.

In truth, though it doesn’t have the showy views or location of the erstwhile vanity project, Mission Bay is a far better fit for an arena that could host hundreds of events every year. The area is a fast-growing part of the city, with easy access to public transportation and freeways, but far enough from the Embarcadero and downtown to avoid contributing further to the city’s worst gridlock. As AT&T Park did 15 years ago, the proposed structure would extend San Francisco’s business district farther south and help anchor the growing neighborhood.

This is San Francisco, so some people will be vocally unhappy. But not as unhappy as they would have been with years of construction as 125-foot-high arena walls rose along the Embarcadero. The proposed arena was problematic on so many levels: views, traffic, rising tides, earthquakes, landfill, entitlement, environmental impact. I’m sure that when Lacob proposed the arena, he didn’t anticipate all the issues he would be dodging.

Three months ago, Warriors President Rick Welts told me that he had “the highest level of confidence this project will be done” and that the team was “100 percent focused on Piers 30/32 – the best possible site for this project.”

Guess not.

You don’t mess with the bay or with Herb Caen’s legacy. The longtime Chronicle columnist helped block an office tower planned for the waterfront back in the 1960s, and wrote at the time that San Francisco was more than a real-estate opportunity, that it was “a precious, special, fragile place.” Fifty years later, it still is. Maybe even more fragile.

Big-money big shots with big development plans need to remember Caen’s words. When push comes to shove, San Francisco will defend its waterfront.

–Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle

Tags: Golden State Warriors Oakland Raiders Terrelle Pryor

  • Werner Lewis

    The Great Raider Tim Brown said it best when asked about Seattle….”Who?”