The Baltimore Ravens’ draft-day decision to trade Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals leaves them short on established wide receiver talent — with 2021 first-round pick Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche and Tylan Wallace the top wideouts on the 90-man roster. That explains why Alex Kay of Bleacher Report has a wide receiver trade between the Ravens and Washington Commanders as one of handful of deals he says “should happen before training camps open” next month.
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Commanders’ Terry McLaurin in Exchange for a Draft Pick (or Two)?
Specifically, Kay sees the Ravens acquiring Terry McLaurin from Washington, tempting the Commanders with a “similar package” to the one the Tennessee Titans offered the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for fourth-year Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown. In that deal, the Eagles sent the Titans first- and third-round picks, and signed Brown to a four-year, $100 million contract.
It’s hard to envision the Ravens giving up anything near that much draft capital for McLaurin, 26, who has never made the Pro Bowl. Never mind that he has 222 career receptions, going for a total of 3,090 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in the three seasons since he was a third-round pick (No. 76 overall) out of Ohio State.
The other issue is that McLaurin wants a contract extension, one that is “consistent with other comparable WRs that recently signed,” according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
“Hunter Renfrow re-upped with the Las Vegas Raiders on a two-year, $32 million extension,” notes Kay, pointing to a deal recently consummated with another member of McLaurin’s (2019) draft class.
The Ravens don’t seem inclined to hand out a deal like that to a wide receiver. Nevertheless, Baltimore has been given the third-best odds of landing McLaurin if he’s traded, as noted by the team’s official website.
Commanders Feeling ‘Pretty Good’ About Extending Terry McLaurin?
Keep in mind that McLaurin skipped Washington’s minicamp this past week, and would anyone be surprised if McLaurin preferred to play for the Ravens over Washington?
Last week, Washington head coach Ron Rivera insisted he was optimistic that the Commanders would be able to sign McLaurin to a contract extension.
“We’ve been talking with his folks, probably the last week, and working on some stuff and hopefully it’ll be taken care of in a matter of time. How much time? I don’t know. But it is never contentious. I can promise you that much,” said Rivera, as noted by NFL.com. “So, we’re feeling pretty good and pretty confident at some point, this will get done.”
But if it looks like the Commanders can’t get a deal done, might they be willing to try to get something for McLaurin while they still can? Especially when one considers that Washington drafted Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson with its first-round pick (No. 16 overall). Also, the Commanders could trade McLaurin and incur a dead cap charge of just $250,805, as per overthecap.com.
And while there’s been a lot of talk about wide receivers not wanting to play in Greg Roman’s offense, McLaurin would presumably be one of the top targets for Lamar Jackson. In addition, when push comes to shove, the former Buckeye doesn’t have much leverage to force a new contract, if no team is willing to give it to him.
That said, if the Ravens were to have McLaurin on the last year of his rookie contract, he would cost a relatively modest $2.79 million – presumably very motivated to earn the biggest possible contract in free agency in the spring of 2023.
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