The Chicago Bears are being urged to pursue one of the NFL’s most talented young receivers.
Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin is unlikely to attend the team’s mandatory minicamp set to begin on June 14, Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post reported.
“Talks between Commanders & Terry McLaurin’s reps have continued, per sources,” Jhabvala tweeted on June 12. “While there’s been some progress, they’re still far apart and, as of now (things may change), McLaurin seems unlikely to show for minicamp. He returned to Fla. today to resume training for the season.”
Missing mandatory minicamp isn’t insignificant, and it looks as though McLaurin could be looking to make money in the A.J. Brown ballpark. Brown, who was traded from the Tennessee Titans to the Philadelphia Eagles in April, signed a four-year, $100 million extension with $57 million fully guaranteed.
The NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt is among those urging the Bears to call the Commanders to inquire about a possible trade for McLaurin.
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Brandt: McLaurin Would Help Bears Contend in NFC North Again
The Bears have nearly $23 million in available cap space, per Spotrac, and they’re set to have over $90 million in 2023. They can afford McLaurin, but it’s doubtful they’ll try to acquire him via trade. First-year General manager Ryan Poles has been conservative since getting hired in January, not making any significant moves — but Brandt thinks the 26-year-old wide receiver is worth making a splash for if you’re the Bears.
“Now we’re playing,” Brandt said about what adding McLaurin would do for a Bears’ offensive lineup that would also include running back David Montgomery, tight end Cole Kmet and wideout Darnell Mooney. “Now maybe we can make a run at this division.”
Brandt also thinks McLaurin would give Bears quarterback Justin Fields the No. 1 wideout he has been missing. Both McLaurin and Fields attended college at Ohio State (McLaurin from 2015-2018, Fields from 2019-2020) and Brandt thinks the OSU connection coupled with Fields’ promise might intrigue the Washington wideout.
“Now (Fields) has got a guy — a former Buckeye — who he can grow old with,” Brandt added. “I like this move. … I understand that the Bears are being frugal, and they’re just trying to be very conservative and I get it, but he’s a really good player and he’s sitting there.”
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McLaurin Getting Stefon Diggs Comps
In 2021, McLaurin hauled in 77 passes for 1,053 yards (13.7 yards per catch) and five touchdowns, per Pro Football Reference, and he has been a solid contributor all three seasons in the league. He has started 46 games since getting drafted in the third round by Washington in 2019, catching 222 passes for 3,090 yards (13.9 yards per reception) and 16 TDs.
McLaurin has been playing with a revolving door of quarterbacks since entering the league, and some analysts have compared him to former Minnesota Vikings All-Pro Stefon Diggs, who came into his own after pairing with QB Josh Allen after getting traded to the Buffalo Bills.
“I feel the same way about Terry McLaurin as I did with Stefon Diggs,” Matt Harmon of Yahoo Sports tweeted on June 12. “If he ever finds his way to the right situation he has all the talent to erupt and post elite production.”
Harmon isn’t the only analyst comparing McLaurin to Diggs. Chase Hughes of NBC Sports also did it in September of 2021. Diggs didn’t have a 1,000-yard season until Year 4, so the comparison isn’t that far off.
Considering who McLaurin has caught passes from so far in his career, a young QB with Fields’ potential could be attractive. As Brandt noted, we already know McLaurin is a great player, so sending a future first-round pick for him wouldn’t be a ridiculous trade. Thus, Chicago should absolutely gauge Washington’s interest in dealing the talented young WR.