All week, Washington receiver Terrelle Pryor and Oakland cornerback David Amerson denied that Sunday’s game against their former team is personal. But no one is buying that because competitive players like to make their former teams pay for letting them go. But in this case, it might not be personal in the way you think.
That is especially the case for Pryor, who requested a trade from the Raiders in the offseason of 2014. The Raiders gave him what he wanted so he could unsuccessfully have a chance to stay at quarterback before eventually moving to WR.
Last year, Pryor broke out at WR, catching 77 passes for 1,007 yards for the Cleveland Browns. He then signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the Redskins with hopes of ultimately signing a bigger one. But through the first two games this season, Pryor has caught only eight passes for 97 yards.
So he started trying to speak a big contract year into existence, saying, "I am going to have a dominant season and it starts this week against Oakland"
That is how the game is personal for him.
If anyone should be taking this game personally because they feel slighted by their former team, it’s Amerson. He looked like a great pick as a second-round rookie in 2013 under head coach Mike Shanahan and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. Then Shanahan was fired and replaced by Jay Gruden, who brought in DC Joe Barry.
Washington was a man coverage team under Haslett so Amerson fit in and played well. But he no longer fit once Barry brought his zone defense so they cut him. The Raiders then claimed his contract in 2015 and he balled out to earn a long term contract.
He then had an average 2016, and has been bipolar to open this season with an outstanding Week 1 and horrible Week 2. So he now has to show that he’s right in 2017 and worth the big contract he signed. If not, he can end up getting cut with all the big contacts the Raiders have coming up.
Both Pryor and Amerson need to have big personal years this year. Pryor is trying to earn a big contract and Amerson is trying to stay on the one he has. Any talk about facing their former teams is secondary because they have much bigger fish to fry.