What a time to be a wide receiver right now. The market is booming, and almost every star wideout is demanding and securing the bag.
Keyword here is “almost.”
Washington Commanders star receiver Terry McLaurin has yet to have his demands met, whether it’s being traded to a new team or getting a new contract extension done. Regardless of the issues with McLaurin, the team is already beginning to feel the negative consequences of not giving him his lucrative contract.
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) June 14, 2022
McLaurin, 26, has already decided to skip the Commanders’ mandatory training camp ahead of the 2022 season. This is a classic move executed by any disgruntled player seeking a trade or a new contract.
It’s a silent protest of sorts. In McLaurin’s case, he wants to get paid. Seeing players like Tyreek Hill, A.J Brown, Steffon Diggs, Cooper Kupp, and Davante Adams either get traded or paid definitely has put a lot into perspective for the multi-talented receiver.
McLaurin definitely feels like he’s on par with those aforementioned receivers. While other pass-catchers get paid, guys like him and Deebo Samuel feel disrespected by their organizations.
McLaurin had 918 receiving yards in his rookie year and followed that up with two consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. He caught a career-high seven touchdowns in his rookie year and had a combined nine touchdowns in the two seasons after that.
He has been an electrifying wide receiver for the Washington Commanders, a bright spot on a team that has been one of the worst teams in the league with an endless stream of bad PR. Besides their defensive line, the Commanders really have no one else worth breaking the bank for. With all of the negative things surrounding the franchise off the field, you’d think they would lock down all of the positive talent on the field.
It's looking like the Commissioner will indeed testify at next week's House Oversight Committee hearing regarding the Washington Commanders workplace issues. https://t.co/6Vfij10cPY pic.twitter.com/HUBGspF0a2
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) June 14, 2022
If the Commanders fail to hash a deal out with McLaurin, it would be detrimental to the team, and their long-term success, as Mclaurin has the skills and the intangibles to be a WR1 for years to come.
According to Bleacher Report, McLaurin is looking to upgrade from his base salary and get a large pay raise.
“The fourth-year wideout recently became eligible for an extension as a member of the 2019 draft class. McLaurin has exceeded expectations since coming into the league as a third-round pick and is now seeking both long-term security and a pay increase over the $2.79 million base salary that he is slated to make in the final year of his rookie deal.” Alex Kay writes.
While McLaurin’s price range hasn’t been revealed, the Commanders are going to have to ask themselves if they would be willing to let a receiver who has put up multiple 1000-plus yard seasons with eight different QBs walk.
Bringing in another veteran QB in Carson Wentz should allow him to not only maintain his current level of productivity but improve it as well. But that chemistry that the organization wants Wentz and McLaurin to build is on hold until McLaurin shows up to camp.
TE Logan Thomas on WR Terry McLaurin's absence:
"The NFL is going to use you. At the same time, you got to get yours. … I understand where he's coming from, man. You got one chance [to make big money]. … Do your thing, Terry."
— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) June 14, 2022
This isn’t a good sign, because the last two players to skip training camps for Washington were Albert Haynesworth (2010), and Trent Williams (2019), who were both subsequently traded a year after after their holdouts.
McLaurin’s consistency and his willingness to dominate at his position regardless of who’s throwing him the ball has put him among elite territory.
With how short a football career can be, McLaurin feels like he should be receiving a long- term financial commitment from Washington, and he may not be willing to practice or fully commit to the upcoming season if he doesn’t receive that commitment from the franchise.
If Washington wants to continue building on this offense, they will pay McLaurin.