Positioning

Salary cap analyst projects Terry McLaurin’s next contract amid holdout – Riggo's Rag

future-dyanmics

LANDOVER, MARYLAND – NOVEMBER 14: Terry McLaurin #17 of the Washington Football Team celebrates a catch during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField on November 14, 2021 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Along some other teams that are dealing with their own off-field distractions, the Washington Commanders have been the talk of the NFL since OTAs started.
The main headlines have revolved around Chase Young’s now-former absence, though that was more fan-generated than a notable observation, as the former Defensive Rookie of the Year reported to the team on Monday.
The real distraction, for lack of a better term, concerns Terry McLaurin, who’s not expected to partake in offseason activities (OTAs, minicamp, training camp) until his contract situation gets resolved.
Entering the final year of his rookie deal, McLaurin wants a contract that not only reflects his standing amongst the NFL’s elite receivers, but aligns with the position’s unexpected sky-rocketed value this offseason.
After all, the market has been reset twice and a slew of wideouts have inked deals that don’t accurately reflect their production and talent.
What kind of deal should McLaurin expect? In a recent article, Pro Football Focus salary cap analyst Brad Spielberger provided contract projections for 2019’s top draft picks, including Kyler Murray, Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel.
How much money will Kyler Murray get in his next contract? 🤔@PFF_Brad projected second contracts for the top 2019 draft picks ➡️ https://t.co/yqSc91paIL pic.twitter.com/Tu8zOVPvc9
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) May 26, 2022

Spielberger projects McLaurin to sign a five-year, $115 million contract, including $54 million in guarantees. In this scenario, McLaurin’s $23 million annual salary would rank sixth among receivers, behind Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Brown and Stefon Diggs. Ironically enough, Hopkins is the only star in that group who didn’t join the top-five this offseason.
In terms of total guarantees, McLaurin’s $54 million would rank eighth at the position, behind Hill, Diggs, Adams, Michael Thomas, Amari Cooper, AJ Brown and Mike Evans. Total value doesn’t mean much these days, but McLaurin’s $115 million would slot him third behind Adams and Hill, who reset the market.
It’s unclear what figure means the most to McLaurin, but AAV and total guaranteed are safe bets for the top two.
At face value, this projection feels like a fair deal for both McLaurin and the Commanders. Not only does the player become one of the wealthiest WRs in the league, but the franchise gets to keep its most important offensive weapon, a captain and locker room leader and one of its few promotional posters.
Chase Young, Montez Sweat and Daron Payne were all in attendance for the Commanders' OTAs today, per the team.
Terry McLaurin, who has been holding out because of his contract situation, did not attend.
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) May 31, 2022

With McLaurin vastly outperforming his value as a third-round pick and providing consistent production in spite of inconsistent (at best) QB play, the 26-year-old stud has every right to command top-of-the-market money. And Washington has every reason to pay him given its track record of struggling to retain stars.
Per Spielberger, McLaurin has garnered the third-most inaccurate targets (139) since he entered the NFL in 2019. On those passes, McLaurin has generated 22 explosive receptions (15-plus yards) and 17 contested-catches, which ranks second and first in the league during that span, respectively.
There really isn’t much more to say, folks. McLaurin’s price tag was always going to fall into the $20-25 million range. In Spielberger’s projection, the former Buckeye and Washington find a middle ground that should appease both sides.
If and when it gets done, McLaurin’s deal won’t completely mirror this projection, but it should give fans a solid baseline of what to expect.
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