|Date of birth:||October 27, 1976|
|Place of birth:||Dayton, Ohio|
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight:||194 lb (88 kg)|
|NFL draft:||1999 / Round: 2 / Pick: 53|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Peerless Jermaine Price (born October 27, 1976) is a former American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft. He played college football at Tennessee. Price also played for the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys.
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Price's name was inspired by the name of a local moving company. His mother explained that he was given the name because she liked it, and also because she hoped that her son—who grew up in a rough neighborhood—wouldn't fall victim to the life of crime that others in the neighborhood did.
Price was recruited lightly out of Meadowdale High School in Dayton in spite of being a high school All-American and was considered a spare part when he enrolled at the University of Tennessee in 1995. Despite the low regard he was held in coming in, Price showed how much he would be missed by the time his career ended after the 1998 season.
As a freshman in 1995, Price appeared in eight games in a backup role and showed glimpses of the potential that first attracted the Vols' interest. During his 1996 sophomore campaign, Price pulled in 32 receptions for three touchdowns and 609 yards; he excelled in a 35–29 loss to the University of Florida early in the season. In addition to gaining attention for his play on the field, Price showed he was no slouch in the classroom either by being named to the Academic All-SEC team.
When Joey Kent moved on following the 1996 season, Price stepped into the starting lineup full-time as a junior, where Peyton Manning found Price to be a dependable target. In the 1997 season, he started every game and emerged as a legitimate deep threat. He finished with 48 receptions, netting 698 yards and six touchdowns and helped guide the Vols to an SEC championship. He also was, for the second consecutive year, named an Academic All-SEC pick.
After Marcus Nash graduated, Price stepped into the top spot on the Vols' receiving corps for the 1998 season. In spite of the top two statistical receivers in school history being gone, Price ensured that the adjustment period would be minimal. In a tight game against Alabama, Price tied a school record with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that sparked a Vols' victory and continued their success. Tennessee finished the regular season 11–0 and faced Mississippi State in the SEC Championship Game. With the Vols trailing by four points in the fourth quarter, Price pulled in a spectacular pass over the shoulder for a 41-yard touchdown. Tennessee won, 24–14, and earned a spot in the Fiesta Bowl against Florida State to decide the national champion for the 1998 season.
In the final game of his career with Tennessee, Price showed a national audience what he could do. Although he caught only four of Tee Martin's passes the entire game, he made them count. Those four catches went for a total of 199 yards and the deciding touchdown en route to a 23–16 victory and the school's first consensus national championship in 47 years. For his performance, Price was named the game's co-MVP with Dwayne Goodrich. In spite of his exploits in college, Price still fell to the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft, where he was drafted 53rd overall by the Buffalo Bills.
Buffalo Bills (1999–2002)
Price enjoyed his greatest success as the secondary receiver for the Buffalo Bills. In 2002, he caught 94 passes for 1,252 yards, and nine touchdowns. His best game came on September 15, 2002, when he caught 13 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns, including a 48-yard score in overtime, during a 45–39 victory against Minnesota. After the season, the Bills could not afford Price, but did not want to lose him without compensation. They used the Franchise Tag to ensure that Price would be unable to sign elsewhere without the Bills receiving two first round draft picks, a price they knew that no one was willing to pay. Price was given permission to seek a trade, and the Atlanta Falcons were willing to give up a first round pick in the 2003 draft for Price. The Bills used it to select Willis McGahee.
Atlanta Falcons (2003–2004)
Price was supposed to be the great receiver that the Falcons needed to excel. He is regarded as a disappointment, as during his two-year stint in Atlanta, Price was unable to produce any breakthrough numbers, and was considered a great bust. The Falcons earned the NFC South division title and a bye in 2004 relying on great defense and the rushing game. He was released during the 2005 offseason.
In 2005, he signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys to be the third receiver and punt returner. Price was also reunited with quarterback Drew Bledsoe, with whom he had shared so much success in Buffalo and who actively lobbied for his signing. He was released on December 3 after catching only six passes for 96 yards (with 58 yards coming on a single pass).
Buffalo Bills (2006–2007)
Price re-signed with the Bills and regained his #2 wide receiver role. He caught game-winning touchdowns against the Houston Texans and Minnesota Vikings before being placed on injured reserve on October 19, 2007 after having season-ending neck surgery.
On February 14, 2008, the Bills released Price.
|Year||Team||Games||Receptions||Yards||Yards per Reception||Longest Reception||Touchdowns||First Downs||Fumbles||Fumbles Lost|
- "Price Is Rising", Sports Illustrated, December 14, 1998 http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1014788/index.htm
- "Peerless Price Stats". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 20 June 2014.