The Indianapolis Colts and general manager Chris Ballard have reportedly had their eyes on Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin this offseason. McLaurin missed Washington’s minicamp during the second week of June and is hoping for a new contract before the start of the 2022 season.
But despite McLaurin’s holdout, Washington head coach Ron Rivera adamantly denied during a press conference with the media at minicamp that the team’s star wide receiver will be available in a trade for the Colts or any other team.
“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.”
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McLaurin, Commanders Remain Far Apart in Contract Negotiations
Rivera couldn’t have been much more clear about McLaurin not being available on the trade market. Still, the two sides must hammer out a new contract agreement.
Even Rivera did not try to predict when McLaurin’s new contract may be signed. While he said the Commanders will re-sign him “in a matter of time” he also added, “How much time? Don’t know.”
McLaurin has already missed mandatory minicamp, which could lead to Washington fining the receive up to $95,877. Fortier reports Rivera said McLaurin is “subject to the rules” when asked about whether he would receive a fine, but it’s not unusual in the NFL for teams to forgo those types of fines as a sign of good will during contract discussions.
Why Colts Are Interested in McLaurin
It’s not hard to figure out why Indianapolis reportedly inquired about trading for McLaurin this offseason and why the Commanders are refusing to make McLaurin available. In three NFL seasons, he’s averaged 74 catches, 1,030 receiving yards and more than 5 touchdowns per year.
Over the last two seasons, McLaurin has surpassed 1,000 yards twice despite playing with six different starting quarterbacks.
Colts head coach Frank Reich has been complimentary of Indianapolis’ wide receivers this spring. Michael Pittman Jr. reached 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career last year. The Colts also have a large group of other wide receivers who are inexperienced but are 25 or younger with a lot of promise.
The two Colts receivers outside of Pittman with the biggest upside are Parris Campbell and Alec Pierce. A 2019 second-round pick, Campbell averaged 16.2 yards per catch last year in a small sample. He has only played 15 games in three years because of various injuries.
Indianapolis selected Pierce in the second round this past April.
Acquiring McLaurin would mean fewer opportunities for Pittman, Campbell and Pierce, which might not be what Indianapolis desires at this point. However, McLaurin would become Matt Ryan’s top outside target immediately if he joined the Colts.
But it appears something will have to change for Washington to make the receiver available on the trading block.