As contract negotiations continue between the Washington Commanders and Terry McLaurin, another wideout from his 2019 NFL Draft class received a significant pay raise on Friday.
Hunter Renfrow, a fifth-round pick by the Raiders three years ago, reportedly inked a two-year, $32 million extension with Las Vegas, including $21 million guaranteed. Renfrow, who led the Raiders in receiving yards and made his first Pro Bowl last season, is now under contract through 2024.
Although Renfrow has now earned a well-deserved payday, his new deal with the Raiders should not impact McLaurin's talks with Washington for a variety of reasons.
For starters, Renfrow's extension is for just two seasons. An extension of that duration should not even come up in conversations between McLaurin's camp and the Commanders.
McLaurin has produced at a high level in all three seasons he's been in Washington, including back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns. No. 17's production has come despite McLaurin needing two hands to count the number of signal-callers he's caught passes from. Renfrow has spent three years catching passes from Derek Carr, a quarterback talent Washington hasn't seen in years.
Any extension talks between McLaurin and Washington should be three years at a minimum. Simply put, McLaurin has earned that and his play proves such. It's understandable if money is the reason for the holdup in negotiations, but the two sides should at least be able to agree that McLaurin has earned a new deal of three-plus years.
Additionally, Renfrow's new deal will pay the wideout an average of $16 million per season. That's an excellent deal for Renfrow, a slot specialist who is not the No. 1 option on his offense. But for McLaurin, he is the guy in Washington and should be accommodated as such.
Before this offseason began, $16 million per season seemed like a solid floor for a potential McLaurin extension. But across the NFL, wide receivers have cashed in on new deals this spring. A total of 10 receivers are now set to make $20 million or more in 2022; only three wideouts earned $20 million-plus last season, per OverTheCap.
These lucrative wide receiver deals have only raised McLaurin's price tag. Carolina's D.J. Moore, who's had an eerily similar start to his career as McLaurin, signed a three-year, $61.8 million extension earlier this offseason. Tampa Bay's Chris Godwin and L.A. Chargers' Mike Williams each signed identical three-year, $60 million deals this spring, too. All three of those contracts appear to be good baselines for McLaurin's potential new deal.
But, after seeing A.J. Brown sign a four-year, $100 million extension with Philadelphia following a draft day trade with Tennessee, it's understandable if McLaurin seeks a new deal closer to Brown's deal than Moore's.
Yes, McLaurin (46) has played in three more games than Brown (43) throughout their respective careers, but Washington's wideout has more total receptions and receiving yards through three seasons. In terms of per game totals, the two wideouts have almost identical production.
The same night Brown agreed to his extension, Washington head coach Ron Rivera was asked whether he thinks that deal impacts McLaurin's negotiations.
"I don't think it impacts it," Rivera said on April 28. "A different player, different style more so than anything else. It's just one of those things that you go through negotiations based on what the player is for you."
Rivera could be right. And yes, there's still plenty of time for McLaurin to sign an extension before training camp.
However, it's been six weeks since Brown's deal was done and McLaurin remains unsigned. Washington's standout receiver skipped all of OTAs, too. Whether he reports to mandatory minicamp next week remains uncertain, although Rivera said Wednesday he expects McLaurin to be there.
So, how does this all tie back to Renfrow? Well, the reality is that the deal he and Las Vegas agreed to is well short of what it will take for Washington to sign McLaurin long-term.
McLaurin, along with his fellow 2019 draftees Deebo Samuel, D.K. Metcalf and Diontae Johnson, all have yet to agree to new, lucrative long-term deals with their respective clubs. And, although Renfrow's new deal makes a ton of sense for both him and the Raiders, his new contract likely will not impact McLaurin, Samuel, Metcalf or Johnson getting their new deals done.