Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera suggested Wednesday that signing wide receiver Terry McLaurin to a new contract is a significant move for the entire organization in terms of rebuilding its image.
According to ESPN's John Keim, Rivera said: "He's an organizational signing. It impacts not just the football side, but the business side. It tells people we want to retain young men of this stature; we want young men of this magnitude out there representing our organization."
The NFL is in the midst of a second investigation into the Commanders regarding allegations that owner Dan Snyder and other executives created a toxic workplace for women, rife with sexual harassment and misconduct.
Although the Commanders are under fire and Snyder has surrendered day-to-day operations of the franchise to his wife, the front office managed to complete a three-year, $71 million extension with McLaurin this week.
McLaurin noted that when he spoke to Rivera during minicamp, the coach told him it was a priority from "ownership on down" to sign him to a new deal.
In speaking about re-signing McLaurin, Rivera also expressed his belief that the Commanders organization has changed for the better in the two years he has been at the helm, saying:
"As I ask, please don't judge us from, 'This happened at this point in time.' We're going forward. We're changing things. We're trying to do the best we can. I know some people don't think it matters, but it does matter. It shows you can change, you can adapt, you can make things better. You can correct your mistakes and that's what we're doing. We're correcting our mistakes; we're getting a lot of support."
Among the allegations levied against the Commanders by former female employees are claims of sexual misconduct against Snyder.
Liz Clarke of the Washington Post reported in February that former Commanders cheerleader and marketing manager Tiffani Johnston said during a congressional roundtable that Snyder touched her thigh underneath the table at a team dinner and tried to guide her to his limo.
Will Hobson of the Washington Post reported last month that a former team employee said in 2009 that Snyder sexually harassed and assaulted her, resulting in a $1.6 million confidentiality settlement.
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing last month regarding the Commanders' alleged toxic workplace culture and requested the presence of Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. While Goodell attended, Snyder declined.
Following the NFL's first investigation into the Commanders, the organization was fined $10 million.
While it is unclear what impact McLaurin will have on the integrity of the Commanders organization, if any, re-signing him is huge from a football perspective.
The 26-year-old wideout is arguably Washington's best offensive player, and he is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
Last season, McLaurin finished with 77 receptions for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns, and he figures to be new starting quarterback Carson Wentz's No. 1 option in 2022.