Commanders Rumors: Terry McLaurin's New Contract 'Budgeted' for After Free Agency

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 18, 2022

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Terry McLaurin #17 of the Washington Football Team reacts during the second quarter against the New York Giants at FedExField on September 16, 2021 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Washington Commanders have been earmarking funds toward an extension for Terry McLaurin, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

Fowler reported Wednesday that Washington "spent mildly in free agency in part because it has budgeted for re-signing McLaurin." McLaurin is entering the final year of his rookie contract in 2022.

In three seasons with Washington, the 26-year-old has caught 222 passes for 3,090 yards and 16 touchdowns. His numbers might have been even better if the Commanders had any sort of continuity at quarterback. Since 2019, they've used eight different starters: Taylor Heinicke, Dwayne Haskins, Case Keenum, Alex Smith, Kyle Allen, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Garrett Gilbert and Colt McCoy.

While McLaurin hasn't positioned himself to be the NFL's highest-paid wideout, he's poised to cash in on the receiver spending bonanza. The extensions for A.J. Brown (four years, $100 million) and Stefon Diggs (four years, $96 million) represent reasonable targets for him in negotiations with Washington.


Pay Terry McLaurin 🗣 <a href="https://t.co/NoT8z0RnNr">pic.twitter.com/NoT8z0RnNr</a>

Fowler's report will be a welcome development for fans because the absence of an agreement to this point was bound to generate some concern. The MMQB's Albert Breer painted a worrying picture when he reported last week that the contract was "nowhere" and that "negotiations haven’t really started."

Brown, Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams were all traded after reaching an impasse with their teams, so it stands to reason the same thing could happen with McLaurin and the Commanders.

The Commanders selected Penn State's Jahan Dotson in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft. Based on Fowler's report, that may not have been done with the intention of having Dotson replace McLaurin, whom they consider a "true cornerstone and team leader."

As much as the team seems to value McLaurin, fans may not breathe easy until the extension is confirmed.