Commanders’ Terry McLaurin is re-signed and ready to lead

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In an offseason of upheaval and controversy, Terry McLaurin’s return to the Washington Commanders team facility on Wednesday seemed like the eye of a storm, a time for the organization to expire. Three years, two months and 10 days after Washington selected the Indianapolis kid in the third round of the 2019 draft, the star receiver whose reliability and professionalism quickly made him a fan favorite is back and ready to go. to manage.

McLaurin arrived on Tuesday to sign a three-year contract worth around $71 million. He entered the atrium dressed in a burgundy suit, and each TV played its flagship takes. He admired the “first-class” red carpet treatment, and at a press conference on Wednesday, he thanked everyone who helped him make that dream come true: God; his parents, Terry Sr. and Grace; his sister Miah; his girlfriend Caitlin; his agent Buddy Baker; coach Ron Rivera; Washington co-owners Daniel and Tanya Snyder; and all the “homies back in Indianapolis”.

“I cried real tears because for so much of my life I really had to grind and work for what I have now,” McLaurin said. “I had a lot of adversity and some people didn’t necessarily believe in my abilities. But my faith sustained me, the people of my village, the people who prayed for me, sacrificed themselves for me. … Like, I had so many people who are the reason I’m here today.

For 40 minutes, McLaurin reflected, enjoyed and expressed excitement about the team’s trajectory. He praised Carson Wentz for reaching out consistently during McLaurin’s 10-week stint, and after the press conference, McLaurin said he was flying to California to hit some drives with his new quarterback.

For Rivera, McLaurin is more than just a player on a roster lineup. He’s someone whose contributions on and off the court can help the team’s culture and image amid a tumultuous offseason that has included an ongoing congressional investigation. Rivera said the move shows the fanbase that change is not only possible but imminent. He called McLaurin an “organizational signature” that impacts football and business, and the signature signals to corporate partners that “we want to retain young men of this stature. We want young men of this caliber to represent our organization, our community, thus representing your brand.

“We’re correcting our mistakes and we’re getting a lot of support,” Rivera continued. “What we try to do is put the best team on the football pitch because that will help build confidence. … When you do something like that and you keep a player of that stature in your team football, you’re telling the community, “We’re doing our best. We’re trying to get the best players into position so we can build something we can all be proud of.”

Svrluga: Terry McLaurin is Washington’s most beloved player since Sean Taylor

McLaurin was asked what it was like to deal with the regular distractions around the franchise.

“We trust Coach Rivera’s vision and the way he leads us,” he said. “He does a great job of really managing and supporting all the pressures that are being put on this organization from outside voices. …As leaders, Jon [Allen] and myself and the other guys in the locker room, we’re just trying to do our best and represent this organization in the best way possible on and off the pitch. We take this very seriously.

On the court, Washington solidified its revamped offense and locked in one of the league’s best players at a position that has exploded in value this offseason. On average per year, McLaurin’s deal is by far the largest contract the commanders have awarded ($23.7 million). But Rivera said all the factors at play made McLaurin “a priority,” and he hoped it would send “the right kind of message to our players. It’s about trying to retain as many of you as possible in the future.

During his resistance, which began in late April after the draft, McLaurin said it was “weird” to miss practice. He trained in Florida and texted teammates, including Allen and tight end Logan Thomas, who had similar negotiations last offseason. But nothing could replace the camaraderie of being on the pitch with teammates – a feeling amplified by the team’s warm-ups for the final practice before summer vacation. On social media, McLaurin saw players dancing to George Clinton’s song “Atomic Dog,” and wide receiver Marken Michel and cornerback Christian Holmes parted ways.

“Those are the things you miss the most,” he said. “You can’t recreate that in whatever workout gym you’re in or whatever field you’re on.”

Now that McLaurin is signed for the 2025 season, it’s possible to imagine him as a player who could spend his entire career in Washington. McLaurin himself seemed to entertain this idea. He said he told former quarterback Doug Williams, now one of the team’s top business advisers, “I just want this No. 17 to keep looking good,” and on Tuesday he met with the former Washington wide receiver Gary Clark, who told him stories about learning from Hall of Famer Art Monk and mentoring young players.

“Seen that [Super Bowl] ring on his finger, like that motivates me even more to give it my all,” McLaurin said of Clark, adding, “Mr. Williams…knows what it takes to win it all, and he was on that team. What does it do? What does this locker room look like? What do these practices look like as a leader? That’s what I want to know.

McLaurin’s contract will end when he turns 30. That’s the same age Davante Adams will be at the end of this season after signing a five-year, $140 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders following a trade in March. McLaurin was asked if he wanted a shorter contract to improve his chances of cashing in big once again.

“I trusted the plan that my agent laid out in front of me,” he hesitated, adding, “I was just really worried about what was right for me. … I’m really not too worried about the coming.

For now, McLaurin said, his focus is on training camp, which begins July 27. He’s a captain, a paid man, a pillar. He wants to prove to his teammates – and to himself – that he can help usher this franchise into a new era. The key, he says, was shown to him at a young age by his parents, who taught him to “work, work, work, work, work, work”.

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