The NFL wide receiver market has been booming this offseason, yet Terry McLaurin of the Washington Commanders has not joined in on the fun. The number one guy in Washington is about to play on the final year of his rookie deal, so he has decided upon the nuclear option -- he is not reporting to mandatory mini-camp.
In past years, this may be seen as a drastic move. However, he has multiple reasons to hold out for a new deal to cement his place as the top man in Washington for years to come.
3 reasons Terry McLaurin deserves a big new deal
#1 - His past performance
McLaurin is no slouch. He began his career with 919 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019 as a rookie. Since then, he has posted consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and has done so without a true star throwing him the ball. That has been true for all three seasons of his career.
Reaching 1,000 yards is a serious accomplishment, and he has done that without ever finishing with more than 87 receptions in a season. So this is not a volume statistic for him; he is making his catches count every single week.
#2 - The booming market at wide receiver
There is an easy comparison to make when discussing McLaurin and what he deserves. That would be new Philadelphia Eagles receiver A.J. Brown, who spent the first three seasons of his career with the Tennessee Titans. Brown posted 1,000-yard seasons in 2019 and 2020, but fell below that mark in 2021 due to injuries.
In fact, Brown has fewer career receiving yards compared to McLaurin. Yet he was just rewarded with a four-year, $100 million contract by the Eagles. If statistics dictate the market, Washington is doing an injustice by not paying their top guy more money in 2022.
#3 - His new quarterback
Any NFL wide receiver in a contract year relies on their quarterback to boost their stats and help them earn big money. In this case, Carson Wentz is the man in charge of getting McLaurin a big payday.
That is not exactly a great sign, and the reality is that Wentz could end up lowering his new top receiver's salary with a rough year. If anything, the Commanders should pay their top wideout to reward him for his past play and make him happy to work with Wentz and strive to be great.
The alternative here is a bad year for everyone on offense, where McLaurin ends up bolting after the year. That is the real situation at play here. Receivers all over the NFL have been paid massive amounts of money this offseason. And most of those receivers have played with better quarterbacks than those who have passed through Washington as of late. If they don't pay him now, they will have wasted his talents, and he will leave as soon as possible.