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Terry McLaurin Contract: Washington Commanders Good Reason for Inaction?

The waiting game could turn out to be an expensive one for the Commanders

We're not sure we can explain why the Washington Commanders have been something other than proactive when it comes to a contract extension for Terry McLaurin.

But there is now an explanation being offered as to why Washington leaned toward frugality in NFL free agency - and the reason is tied to McLaurin.

ESPN is reporting Wednesday that Washington "spent mildly in free agency in part because it has budgeted for re-signing McLaurin."

Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson
Terry McLaurin
Terry McLaurin

One truth, as always in the NFL, Washington and beyond: While the salary cap is a very real thing, there are almost always ways to accomplish anything in terms of talent acquisition - and making room for talent.

So the Commanders can have good reasons for how and why they are juggling their dollars and why they've waited. But ...

1) "Reasons'' are different than "excuses.'' There are no excuses for falling short of building a competitive roster.

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2) While the earmarking of funds for McLaurin - who is entering the final year of his rookie contract in 2022 - can be a reason for Washington sitting on its hands during free agency ...

Free agency is over. It's time for the hands to emerge.

In his three seasons with Washington, the 26-year-old McLaurin has caught 222 passes for 3,090 yards and 16 touchdowns. There is no argument against his worthiness. To the contrary, it's probably hard for Washington fans to resist the temptation of wondering what McLaurin's numbers might be had he spent those three years with consistently good QB play.

Terry McLaurin
Terry McLaurin
mclaurin diggs

The big new deals for Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, A.J. Brown, and Stefon Diggs represent reasonable targets for McLaurin and obstacles for Washington. But none of this explains why the Commanders wouldn't begin this process in earnest with a player they see as (as ESPN puts it) "true cornerstone and team leader."

The longer Washington waits to sign, or even begin to negotiate with McLaurin, just costs them money. In a draft that turns out to be loaded with receiver talent, McLaurin might be the best of the bunch, and that includes names like Brown, N'Keal Harry, Kelvin Harmon, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Hakeem Butler, Deebo Samuel, and D.K. Metcalf.

So whatever the "reasons" are for waiting, they better be good. Because each passing day increases the price for McLaurin.