WASHINGTON – Terrelle Pryor signed a one-year contract worth up to $8 million with the Washington Redskins on Friday as the team began the process of replacing two top receivers who left in free agency, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson.
The 27-year-old Pryor spent the past two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, including a breakthrough 2016, his first year as a full-time wideout: 77 catches for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns.
He also took a handful of snaps at quarterback, his original position when he entered the NFL from Ohio State. In a Week 3 loss to the Miami Dolphins in October, the 6-foot-4, 223-pound Pryor showed off his versatility, becoming the first player since Frank Gifford in 1959 with at least 120 yards receiving, 30 passing and 20 rushing.
There is still some mystery about who will be throwing passes to Pryor, but Kirk Cousins’ agent, Mike McCartney, tweeted Friday that the quarterback signed his contract for the exclusive franchise tag.
Washington did not immediately confirm that Cousins had signed the deal, which is worth about $24 million in 2017.
The Redskins — who fired general manager Scot McCloughan on Thursday, two years into his four-year deal, without saying why — have until July 15 to try to work out a long-term deal with Cousins. They also still have the option of trading the quarterback, who has broken the franchise record for passing yards in each of his two seasons as Washington’s starter.
Cousins made nearly $20 million last season under a tag. He is the first QB in NFL history to sign franchise tags in consecutive years, but his awkward relationship is still in flux with the team that drafted him in the fourth round the same year it took Robert Griffin III with the No. 2 overall pick. Griffin was released by the Browns on Friday.
Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 yards last season, and set another team mark with more than 400 completions, passing for 25 TDs and 12 interceptions with a completion percentage of 67.
The Redskins lost four of their last six games — including 19-10 at home against the division rival New York Giants in the regular-season finale, a defeat sealed by Cousins’ late interception — to end up 8-7-1 and miss the playoffs, a year after winning the NFC East.
On Friday, the Redskins announced the signings of three defensive free agents: linemen Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain and safety D.J. Swearinger.
The 6-foot-3, 310-pound McGee started only nine games and had 2 1/2 sacks — both career highs — for the Oakland Raiders. He has played in 51 NFL games, making 18 starts. McClain, also listed at just over 300 pounds, was with the Dallas Cowboys last season, getting 2 1/2 sacks in a career-best 15 starts. He has appeared in 62 career games, with 27 starts, for four teams.
Swearinger has six interceptions in four seasons with three clubs. He started the final 12 games of last season for the Arizona Cardinals, picking off three passes.
After its defense ranked 28th in the league last season, the Redskins fired defensive coordinator Joe Barry.
At first, Cousins was a backup behind Griffin, only getting a chance to play when the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year would get injured. Eventually, under coach Jay Gruden, Cousins got a chance to be the full-fledged starter in place of Griffin two years ago.
In 46 regular-season NFL games, including 41 starts, Cousins has thrown for 12,113 yards, 72 touchdowns and 42 picks.