ASHBURN, VA (WTKR)- While most of the Commanders were present for Tuesday's opening minicamp practice, a lot of the discussions surrounded a player who was not in attendance.
Wide receiver Terry McLaurin is not in Ashburn this week, a move that many expected as he and the team continue to negotiate a new contract. McLaurin is entering the final year of his rookie deal and is hoping his salary can reflect what he brings to the table. He's asserting himself as one of the top receivers in the game.
"I understand where he's coming from," tight end Logan Thomas noted on Tuesday. "You've got one chance, man. You've got one opportunity to make a contract in this league."
Thomas and Washington agreed to a new deal prior to the start of training camp last summer.
"We're not going anywhere," added head coach Ron Rivera. "We want Terry to be here, Terry's a big part of what we want to do and accomplish as a football team."
Meanwhile, new quarterback Carson Wentz and his other weapons continued to get work in, with this week serving as their last chance to do so before training camp opens at the end of July. Rivera said he's not concerned that McLaurin and Wentz are not getting off-season reps in, while other receivers are taking advantage of the opportunity to get some extra work in with the star wideout absent.
"I think it's very beneficial because sometimes you need a little more repetition just to critique everything and be more precise," wide receiver Dyami Brown pointed out. "I think that's one thing that's helped me as well."
"Terry's a professional and so is Carson," Rivera said. "They'll get their time and their opportunity to work together once we get into training camp."
McLaurin's base salary for the 2022 season is $2.79 million under his current contract. By comparison, the Eagles just signed A.J. Brown to a four year deal worth $25 million per season. The head coach believes that negotiations are going in the right direction.
"If you end up in the middle then you know, for the most part, it's gone right," Rivera noted. "Like they say, at the end of the day when everybody's happy and then everybody's mad at the same time, you've done what you needed to do."
"Terry's a great dude, great player, great kid, great person, a person I care about a lot," Thomas smiled. "Do your thing, Terry. You get what you deserve."
McLaurin posted his second consecutive one thousand yard season in 2021, pulling down 77 receptions for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns.
Players who miss all three days of minicamp could be fined by the team more than $93,000.