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Should the Commanders test the market on Terry McLaurin?

Washington Football Team v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

At this point it’s almost become an annual offseason tradition: Evaluating which Washington players have sufficient value, and impending pay increases, such that it makes sense to consider looking at what they might return in trade value. Last year, I made the case for moving Daron Payne. This year, given broader NFL market dynamics, I think it makes sense to consider moving Terry McLaurin, the team’s star wide receiver.

I said it last year with Payne, and I’ll say it again, even more emphatically this year for Terry. I love Terry McLaurin. The guy is a baller. He’s played with sub-par QBs his entire time in Washington, and has never complained a peep. I would, personally, be sad to see him leave. I bear him absolutely not a single ounce of ill will.

However, the market for wide receiver has gone absolutely bonkers this offseason, and it absolutely seems like the time is right to consider “selling high,” particularly on a top flight WR like Terry, even without much in the way of a Plan B in place.

A WR Trade Extravaganza

Just in the past two weeks, two of the best WRs in the game brought in massive draft pick hauls for their former teams. Davante Adams, who was preparing to enter free agency in 2022, was franchise tagged by the Packers and quickly traded to the Raiders for a first and second round draft pick, and then subsequently given a multi-year contract by Las Vegas that returns him an average of $28M per year. So, in effect, for nothing, Green Bay got two high draft picks and out of the bind of paying a WR $25M+ per year for several years.

Today, the second shoe dropped. Tyreek Hill, who signed a 4 year deal in 2019 that was structured heavily with incentives, was guaranteed only about $1M in salary this year, with the possibility of being paid upwards of $18M. While still under Chiefs’ control, the team granted Hill the right to pursue a trade, and he struck gold in Miami.

A 5-pick haul, including two early picks this year, for a player the Chiefs likely lacked the real intention and financial means to sign long term - particularly as Pat Mahomes’ cap hit blooms in the coming years - represents a coup for Andy Reid and the Chiefs’ front office.

Pair all this with the fact that average Joe WRs like Christian Kirk are getting paid a king’s ransom, and it’s very clear that the NFL’s wide receiver market is heavily overbought.

An Opportunity for the Commanders

In the final year of his rookie deal, Terry McLaurin is slated to be paid about $3M, a ridiculous bargain. If the team were to extend him today, I suspect it would likely be in the $20-22M/AAV range, and that would be a reasonable, market rate deal for Terry’s services.

But what if he were to hit the trade market? At $3M this year, Terry would be a preposterous bargain for whoever picked him up. He’s not in the Adams/Hill performance echelon, but he’s three years younger than Adams and a year younger than Hill, and he’s in the production tier just below each of these superstars. Looking at what each of these players brought, I could see Terry easily bringing a first round pick in trade, and perhaps a first and second rounder.

Might the Packers be interested in giving up their own first rounder (#28) and the second rounder they got from the Raiders for Terry? If so, I’d be highly supportive of such a move from the front office. It would be a great return on value for a player at the height of his value, and would give the team plenty of ammunition to re-load at the position, keeping costs significant lower into the near future.

What are your thoughts?

Poll

I would be supportive of trading Terry McLaurin for....

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    A first round pick.
    (71 votes)
  • 29%
    A first and second round pick.
    (739 votes)
  • 10%
    Certain members of the Hogs Haven editorial staff being exiled to Green Bay.
    (273 votes)
  • 56%
    I absolutely hate the idea.
    (1418 votes)
2501 votes total Vote Now