Through his first three NFL seasons, Terry McLaurin has been one of the NFL's best wide receivers. If the Washington Commanders want to keep him on the roster beyond the 2022 season, they'll likely have to pay him like one of the NFL's best wide receivers.
McLaurin was not present during the first day of OTAs, per The Washington Post, confirming previous reports that he will not practice unless he has a new deal in place. The 26-year-old wideout is entering the final year of his rookie contract. His market value, according to Spotrac, is valued at just over $84 million over four years for an average annual salary of about $21 million.
106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen reported in early April that the Commanders met with McLaurin's agent at the NFL Scouting Combine, and the team has stated that there is a dialogue ongoing between the two sides. Paulsen further noted that Jonathan Allen got his contract extension last July, and that the Commanders will clear cap space when safety Landon Collins' post-June 1 release is processed, so that could be when the two sides are more likely to come to an agreement.
McLaurin, despite being saddled with considerably below-average quarterback play throughout his career, has racked up 222 catches for 3,090 yards and 16 touchdowns while playing 46 of 49 possible games. He'll turn 27 years old early in the 2022 season, so he is a bit older than most players when they come off their rookie deal, which means this could be the best chance he has to land himself a big-money deal.
Wide receiver contracts have exploded this offseason thanks to new deals for Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, and Stefon Diggs, and it seems unlikely that the price for a wideout of McLaurin's caliber will go down any time soon. If Washington plans on keeping him around, the team would be wise to come to him with an extension offer sooner rather than later.