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Mailbag/Reaction to Terrelle Pryor Debate

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We've made our points in point/counterpoint regarding Terrelle Pryor's chances to make the 53-man roster. We look at your reaction and respond in a mailbag format.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

We're made our arguments:

+ Scott Bantel - Point: Why Terrelle Pryor makes the 53-man roster
+ Josh Kirkendall - Counterpoint: Why Terrelle Pryor won't make the 53-man roster

Now it's time to review your comments and reactions.

I think everyone hopes McCarron wins this battle and plays well in preseason – and he has done nothing to show that won’t happen. Pryors ceiling is not very high – hopefully McCarron will do well and has a higher ceiling -but it’s really not clear just yet who will be better

- TX Bengal

Ceiling or not, the Bengals are excited about the prospect of giving McCarron a full slate of repetitions at OTA and training camp. "I will tell you that we are excited about him for the future," said Lewis in March. "He didn't get any opportunity to play at all this year. He didn't get to practice the last six weeks, including the playoff week."

"I tried to do things in practice during the week to get AJ opportunity to do real football so he wasn't just working against our defense. I wanted him to have an opportunity to work within the game-plan and I think he has a great mind for football. We think he has the ability to be a good NFL quarterback and passer. Obviously he has the competition nature, the makeup of guys that have been very productive in the NFL. So I am excited about AJ and his future. He’s one of our reserve quarterbacks so hopefully the opportunity gets a little limited right now."

The Bengals WANT to give McCarron the ball as the team's primary backup. If this scenario changes due to a limiting ceiling placed over McCarron, then fine. That happens when competition is introduced in the NFL. That needs to happen before he can be demoted/promoted. Here's my point: Pryor is battling Josh Johnson as the team's No. 3 quarterback. He has until early September to change the team's opinion.

+ Pryor is the better runner:

The guy who is the best runner and the best passer is the best QB in the NFLPryor is the best runner. It remains to be seen how good he will be at passing. His best passer rating in a game in 2013 was 135.7. McCarron is nowhere near the best runner. You know for a fact that if you want great running from McCarron, you’ll never be able to get it, no matter how hard McCarron tries. With Pryor, you have the best runner at the QB spot in the NFL. You know that too.

- JohnReglarperson

Pryor can run, sure. He was also sacked 31 times in 11 games (largely because his first instinct was to run), fumbled seven times (lost two) and threw another 11 interceptions. Having great legs is meaningless when you haven't proven yourself capable at the other quarterback-y things. I'm sure the immediate instinct is to make a "lesser of two evils" comparison with Dalton, but that narrative isn't even in the same country right now.

Giving Terrelle Pryor "a chance":

Andy Dalton is average and you know it... 3 playoff appearances every year and out...Oakland was terrible (They are still looking for a Kenny Stabler/Jim Plunkett) matter of fact the entire Raider team is an embarrassment to the past Oakland/LA Raider glory day teams. Seattle (The roster was set). Kansas City (The roster was set). Cincinnati (This is Pryor's golden opportunity) I'm not impressed with the ALA. QB or the other backup the Bengals have. Give Pryor a chance, don't throw him under the bus...

- Emailer

I thought I was pretty fair in the argument:

1) Pryor needed an invite to rookie minicamp to earn a minimum contract;
2) My speculation/theory: Had Hue Jackson not been the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati, this never happens;
3) The odds that Cincinnati will keep three quarterbacks are small;
4) Even if he makes the 53-man roster as a third-string quarterback, he won't stay very long because the team will need roster spots for players likely going on PUP.

Here's another argument on the McCarron v Pryor perspective -- and it's a bit twisted but it's origins are based on the business sense in the NFL.

If the Bengals keep Pryor on a one-year deal (worth $660,000), they have questions about their backup quarterback situation next year. What if Dalton suffers an injury that keeps him out for 4-5 games and Pryor, as the primary backup, goes off? Now he will command a decent-sized contract (teams pay more for youth and potential). Applying the same scenario with McCarron, even if he "goes off", the Bengals have his rights for another two years.

Perhaps you're thinking: The Bengals could sign Pryor to a long-term deal and release Dalton. Releasing Dalton next year still carries a penalty of $7.2 million -- $4.8 million in 2017 and $2.4 million in 2018. Don't even suggest two cap-costly contracts to keep two quarterbacks on the roster.

Yes, it's a trivial contractual argument.

That being said, I think it's a dreamer's dream that Dalton is released before his current contract expires... I mean, they gave it to him in the first place, what makes any of us think the Bengals' front office will tear it up?