Before the offseason ends, the Washington Commanders have one major to-do on their list: sign star wide receiver Terry McLaurin.
The track record for fourth-year star wideouts getting the contract they want this offseason isn't great. Wide receiver A.J. Brown couldn't agree to a contract extension with the Tennessee Titans, so they traded him on draft night. And Deebo Samuel is currently seeking a trade from the San Francisco 49ers to a team that will pay and treat him like a top wideout in the game.
ESPN detailed how important it is for the Commanders to not fall in that pattern and explained why the team has to sign McLaurin this offseason.
"McLaurin bypassed the team's mandatory minicamp as he remains without a long-term deal," writes ESPN. "Given the recent deals to A.J. Brown and other receivers, a boilerplate is in place for a deal: an average annual value at or near $25 million per season. The risk Washington runs in not securing McLaurin long term is not just that he one day plays for another team in his prime, but the message it sends: If the best offensive player on your team who does everything right and is the definition of rare football character can't get paid, who can?"
Commanders vs. Chiefs Preseason GAMEDAY Preview
Washington prepares to face Kansas City and quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Commanders QB Carson Wentz 'Outstanding' in Camp, Says Coach
Wentz has gotten some positive reviews in the first half of camp.
Commanders Training Camp Notebook: Antonio Gibson Practicing on Special Teams?
What we saw during Washington's last practice before heading to Kansas City on Friday.
McLaurin just completed his second consecutive 1,000-yard season and is expected to form one of the best wide receiver trios in the game with a healthy Curtis Samuel returning and rookie Jahan Dotson, who the team spent the 16th pick in the NFL Draft on.
Having McLaurin on the field opens up opportunities not only for Samuel and Dotson, but for newly-acquired quarterback Carson Wentz and the rest of the offense.
If McLaurin doesn't sign, it could be the beginning of the end for this version of the Commanders who are just about to reach playoff contender status.