With 93 receiving yards against the New York Giants on Sunday, Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin broke the 1,000-yard mark for the second-straight season. In doing so he became the franchise’s first receiver to achieve the feat since Henry Ellard did it three years in a row from 1994-96, a testament to the 26-year-old’s impact despite his team’s inability to solve the quarterback position.
Now, Washington’s 2021 season is over and McLaurin enters an important offseason. The former third-round pick has just one year remaining on his rookie deal, putting pressure on the team to negotiate an extension before subjecting him to the franchise tag or creating a holdout situation.
Head coach Ron Rivera told reporters Friday that the “evaluation process” for McLaurin’s future begins this week. The response from fans on social media didn’t leave much room for interpretation: Lock McLaurin up with a long-term deal. Rivera heard the outcry and asked fans to be patient during a radio interview with 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies on Tuesday morning.
“I love Terry and we’re gonna do everything we can so everybody please relax, let us do our job, trust us, OK?” Rivera asked. “Believe me, this is a heck of a football player: two years, back-to-back, 1,000 yards. See, now you got me talking about him. I promise you he’s recording this.”
Rivera expressed a hesitation to say much about McLaurin’s importance to the team, saying his agent was a listener of the radio show who would use his words against him in contract talks. The wide receiver is represented by Exclusive Sports Group, an agency whose clients also include Washington’s free agent return specialist DeAndre Carter and Carolina Panthers safety Jeremy Chinn.
But McLaurin’s production as the No. 1 receiver in Washington’s offense has been undeniable. While both Rivera and the fans hope he will suit up for the team next year and beyond, how extension talks progress this offseason will go a long way toward determining his future.