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Rivera says 'just a matter of time' before McLaurin's contract gets done

5/25/2022 12:29:47 PM
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As expected, wide receiver Terry McLaurin opted to skip Washington’s voluntary offseason workout Tuesday while he waits on a new deal.

The Commanders, in total, had four players absent from the session: McLaurin, defensive ends Chase Young and Montez Sweat and wideout Cam Sims. 

Among the group, McLaurin’s absence is the only one that is contract-related. The fourth-year wideout’s deal is up after this upcoming season. And around the league, McLaurin has watched as contemporaries like Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill and A.J. Brown all received new contracts — deals that reset the wideout market.

Coach Ron Rivera declined to elaborate much on where negotiations stand with McLaurin, other than to reiterate that talks have started, Matthew Paras of the Washington Times reports. The two sides reportedly remain far apart. 

“It’s just a matter of time,” Rivera said. 

If McLaurin is paid, his salary will likely top Allen’s deal. The Philadelphia Eagles, for instance, gave Brown — from McLaurin’s same draft class — a four-year, $100 million contract upon acquiring him from the Tennessee Titans in April. Rivera has said he doesn’t see Brown’s contract as a corollary, but McLaurin’s agent will likely use it as leverage. New contracts for Adams and Hill also average at least $25 million a year, too. 

Only 10 wide receivers make north of $20 million annually, but four have signed this offseason. Of those four, three came after those players were traded to new teams. Adams, Hill and Brown were all dealt from the teams that drafted them, while Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs (four years, $96 million) re-signed. Diggs, however, was traded to Buffalo from Minnesota in 2020. 

The Commanders have shown no inclination that they’re willing to trade McLaurin. If the two sides can’t reach an extension, Washington will always have the option to give McLaurin the franchise tag next season. As of now, that projects to be a one-year deal worth slightly more than $20 million.

For now, McLaurin is keeping his distance. After the workout, Dotson was asked about his interactions with veteran receivers on the roster such as McLaurin and Samuel. 

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