By Adam Aniba
Washington fans have been clamoring all offseason for Ron Rivera and the Commanders to extend Terry Mclaurin. Coming off back-to-back 1,000 yard receiving seasons and a revolving door at quarterback, McLaurin is about to cash in.
Big Money Free Agency
The free agency period has featured players like Von Miller, Terron Armstead and J.C. Jackson signing deals with new teams, including guarantees north of $40 million. The position that's benefited the most though, have been the wide receivers
Former Arizona WR Christian Kirk was the first surprise of free agency, signing a 4-year $84 million deal with Jacksonville. Kirk only eclipsed the 100 yard receiving mark once last season, ironically occurring vs the Jaguars. Kirk has not been viewed as a WR1, but he's certainly getting paid like one based on supply and demand.
Packers Davante Adams would be next to set the bar. The Green Bay receiver was traded to the Raiders and was promptly given a 5-year deal worth $141.25 million. The landscape of guarantees is changing in favor of the players. In Adams case, he was guaranteed $65.67 million at signing and will have an annual base salary of $28 million per season.
Adam's has put up 1,000+ yard receiving seasons, three times over the last four seasons, falling short of 1k by only 3 yards in '19 The Raiders receiver became the league's highest paid receiver, but it was short lived.
Tyreek Hill would be the next blue chip receiver on the move, after being traded to the Miami Dolphins. Although the devil is always in the details, Spottrac.com has his deal listed as a 4-year deal worth up to $120 million with $72.2 million guaranteed. The guarantees trump the Adam's deal and Hill will average $30 million a season. The former Chief's receiver has produced at a high level and registered 1,000 yard receiving seasons in 4 of the last 5 years. In 2021 Hill had his highest career reception output registering 111 rec.
Show Him The Money
McLaurin's deal will not come as high as the Adam's and Hill deals, but it will surpass the deal Kirk signed based on his market value. Unlike the others mentioned, prior to the official start of free agency, Mike Williams and Chris Godwin both agreed to terms and re-signed with their respective teams. The pair signed identical deals for 3-years earning $20 million annually.
The $20 million annual figure for Terry McLaurin is the starting point for Washington. Unlike the receivers mentioned, who had the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Pat Mahomes, Tom Brady and Justin Herbert, McLaurin dealt with a revolving door at QB.
The Commanders receiver has registered 222 rec for 3,090 yards with 16 scores over the span of his career (3 seasons), while catching passes from 8 different QB's since '19. McLaurin has registered two-strait 1,000 yard seasons and fell just 81 yards short of 1K is rookie year.
McLaurin has displayed that he is one of the games best clutch players. In '21 he ranked 1st in contested catches and yards as a result.
In the end, a deal similar to the one Kirk received from Jacksonville, seems like the jumping off point for Washington (4-years $84 million). Of course voided years are routinely added to deals and a McLaurin extension could look like 5-years $110 million with $55 million guaranteed. In this scenario, McLaurin would be making $22 million annually. Although that might seem like a large '22 cap hit, in addition to the one Carson Wentz has, money is always moved around. Large chunks of money can be deferred to later years in the deal, with roster bonus', games played etc.
McLaurin is the face of Washington, regardless of what quarterback is brought in. Fans are hoping that Wentz can get the Commanders over the playoff hump, but locking down McLaurin has to be priority one. We've seen what it looks like when contract negotiations, particularly extensions, stall or lag under the Snyder era.
Although signing Jonathan Allen to a LTD showed their commitment to keeping their stars, a lot more work is needed. Having McLaurin long term, will send a message to future impending free agents and hopefully draw more talent to Washington. McLaurin has demonstrated that he's a true professional and it's time to pay the man.
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