The Washington Commanders are into their second day of mandatory minicamp without wide receiver Terry McLaurin and the questions about the star's future have not stopped.
Head coach Ron Rivera told reporters Tuesday that he understood what McLaurin was doing by skipping minicamp and that the team believes in him as a football player. On Wednesday, Rivera took a more definitive stance on McLaurin staying with the club long term despite the wide receiver not being part of the team's practices at the moment.
"Give you guys a little tidbit," Rivera said, via the team transcript. "We've been talking with his folks, probably the last week, and working on some stuff and hopefully it'll be taken care of in a matter of time. How much time? I don't know. But it is never contentious. I can promise you that much. So, we're feeling pretty good and pretty confident at some point, this will get done."
If the Commanders feel "pretty good" right now about getting a deal done, they will feel fantastic about the on-field impact once Rivera's tidbit comes to fruition.
McLaurin has been the club's best and most consistent offensive threat since joining Washington as a third-round pick in 2019, and there's little argument against him outplaying his contract -- especially considering the recent explosion of the wide receiver market.
McLaurin enters the final year of his rookie deal set to make a $2.79 million base salary.
He has recorded 222 receptions, 3,090 yards and 16 touchdowns thus far in his career.
Beyond McLaurin's statistical impact, Rivera has made it clear that rewarding a player of McLaurin's caliber is paramount to establishing the right culture within the building as the Commanders aim to improve on consecutive seven-win seasons.
"I think that's important is that when a player like this does make the impact he's made and not just on the football team, but you know, around the community and everything you have to be able to take care of that guy so everybody understands this is the type of player we want," Rivera said. "So that's why, and I've said this, you know, we're not trading Terry, everything we're doing is we're trying to get this done. And like I said, just to tell you guys, we've been talking with these guys for over probably the last seven, eight days. And we intend to do this because we believe in who Terry is for us and what he can bring to the table."
With the door slammed repeatedly on the prospect of trading McLaurin, and Rivera's reports of good communication within the last week, Washington may find the right recipe to bring the wideout back into the fold in short order.