Since joining Washington in 2019, Terry McLaurin has been the club's centerpiece, beloved for both his production and his personality. On Tuesday, the Commanders ensured McLaurin will continue serving in that role for seasons to come.
The franchise and its top wideout, at last, agreed to a three-year, $71 million contract extension. The pact means that McLaurin, who skipped OTAs and minicamp in May and June, will return to the squad for training camp. ESPN's Adam Schefter was first to report the extension.
This NFL offseason has largely been defined by the money that some of the sport's top pass catchers have hauled in, and McLaurin is now the latest offensive playmaker to cash in.
While investing this much in one contributor on a 53-man roster always carries a certain amount of risk, McLaurin has the tools to make the Commanders' commitment worth it.
McLaurin, who will turn 27 just after Week 1, is coming off of a 77-catch, 1,053-yard campaign, and before that, he notched 87 grabs for 1,118 yards. Even as a third-round rookie, he stood out, as he tallied 58 receptions for 919 yards fresh out of Ohio State.
Those numbers probably don't represent McLaurin's ceiling, either, even though they're impressive on their own. The environment in which he's played as a pro — from the numerous quarterbacks he's been paired with to the lack of help across from him to the typical off-field drama that surrounds Washington — hasn't been that conducive to success on the outside.
The hope, of course, is that Carson Wentz will emerge as the best and most dynamic signal-caller to ever share a huddle with McLaurin, and guys like Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuel will take a chunk of defensive attention away from him. Should those factors come through, then it's quite possible McLaurin will be even better for the Commanders in the future.
Washington and Ron Rivera long insisted that McLaurin would remain in the team's uniform, but his recent absence from football activities and reports of the two sides being far apart during initial negotiations understandably caused fans and outsiders to wonder whether this extension would get done.
Fortunately, an ending to the back and forth came on Tuesday, and it's one that should prevent McLaurin's time with the Commanders from ending anytime soon.