Trading for Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin always seemed like a long shot acquisition for the Indianapolis Colts. It can now be considered a mere pipe dream.
The Commanders announced on July 5 that they have signed McLaurin to a three-year contract extension. Shortly after the announcement, the Commanders posted a video of the receiver showcasing his excitement to be back with the team.
“Commanders fans, what’s up?” McLaurin said in the video. “Terry McLaurin back, ready for more years to come.”
He concluded the video by saying, “Let’s get it. We back, we back, we back.”
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Colts Interested in Terry McLaurin During His OTA Holdout?
Colts analyst Zach Hicks of Sports Illustrated reported on June 13 that Indianapolis was interested in acquiring McLaurin a few months ago, but that Washington was against any trade that included the receiver.
Still, that didn’t stop the rumor mill. While appearing on The Pat McAfee Show on June 13, media personality Darius Butler called for the Colts to acquire McLaurin. McAfee also connected McLaurin to the Colts because the receiver was liking tweets about former Indianapolis wide receiver Reggie Wayne.
McLaurin’s holdout through OTAs only threw fire on the hearsay.
Those rumors can stop now. NFL staff writer Ben Standig of The Athletic reports McLaurin’s contract is worth $71 million over three seasons. In the contract extension, McLaurin will receive a $28 million signing bonus.
Spotrac reports he will play out the final year of his rookie deal this season, counting as a $3.04 million cap hit. Then, his extension will run from 2023-25.
What Failing to Acquire McLaurin Means for the Colts
Not being able to land McLaurin in a trade will disappoint Butler, McAfee and some other Colts fans. With 164 catches and more than 2,000 receiving yards the past two seasons despite playing with six different starting quarterbacks, McLaurin is one of the top up-and-coming receivers in the league.
But it was always unlikely that Indianapolis was going to be able to acquire him. Washington is trying to build a winning culture under head coach Ron Rivera. Moving on from one of the team’s best players and hardest workers because of a contract dispute would have been a setback in building that culture.
On June 16, Rivera flat out denied the Commanders would trade McLaurin.
“We’re not trading Terry [McLaurin]. Everything we are doing, we’re trying to get this done,” Rivera said. “We’ve been talking with these guys for probably the last seven or eight days. We intend to do this because we believe in who Terry is for us and what he can bring to the table.”
The Colts could use another elite outside target for Matt Ryan, but it’s not as though the cupboard is bare at pass catcher in Indianapolis.
Michael Pittman Jr. broke out with a 1,000-yard season in 2021. He’s expected to be the team’s top outside weapon again this fall.
Head coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard have expressed confidence in other receivers and pass catchers this offseason too. The Colts drafted Alec Pierce in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft and also have former 2019 second-round choice Parris Campbell. They will presumably compete for the role opposite Pittman on the outside.
The Colts have other young receivers in Aston Dulin, Mike Strachan and Dezmon Patmon too.
Running back Nyheim Hines and tight end Mo Alie-Cox could be bigger aspects in the passing game this season as well. Ryan loved throwing to running backs and tight ends as quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons, and that should continue in Indianapolis.