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Terry McLaurin, Commanders reach three-year deal worth about $71 million

Terry McLaurin has 222 receptions in three seasons with Washington. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Wide receiver Terry McLaurin agreed to a three-year extension worth roughly $71 million with the Washington Commanders on Tuesday, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The deal, which includes more than $53 million in guaranteed money, comes with a $28 million signing bonus, the largest ever given to a wide receiver.

The former Ohio State standout was the 12th wideout — and the 76th player overall — drafted in 2019. He possessed speed — a 4.35-second 40-yard dash — and was a polished route runner. But in a crowded wide receivers room at Ohio State, McLaurin impressed NFL decision-makers the most in the months leading up to the draft.

He impressed Washington and the rest of the league shortly after. McLaurin, 26, quickly emerged as a key playmaker and a reliable leader on a Washington team that has cycled through talent and endured off-the-field turmoil for years.

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In his three years in the NFL, McLaurin has missed just three games and totaled 222 receptions and 3,090 receiving yards, both the second most in his draft class. He topped 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons, served as a captain in those two years and notched 25 contested catches last season, most in the league, according to Pro Football Focus.

And he did so with eight starting quarterbacks while taking the sixth-most snaps among all wide receivers in the league.

“When Coach [Ron] Rivera and the staff got here two years ago, that was one of the main things they said about being a number one wide receiver: You got to be ready to possibly catch 100 balls in a season but play every snap,” McLaurin told The Washington Post in January. “… I’ve been out there every single game playing a majority of the snaps, which is something that I really take pride in because they set that goal out for me, and the expectation, I feel like I’ve lived up to it because of the way I train in the offseason, trying to get my mind and my body right to be able to endure that.”

After the season, Rivera and General Manager Martin Mayhew expressed a desire to retain McLaurin but never put a timetable on negotiations; the wide receiver still had one year remaining on his rookie deal.

But the free agent market for wideouts erupted this offseason, leading to eight other players landing deals for at least $20 million per year. McLaurin’s market changed with each new deal, but a contract appeared more pressing on the first day of the draft after A.J. Brown was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles and signed a four-year, $100 million contract.

McLaurin, who had been participating in everything except minimal on-field workouts during the Commanders’ offseason, decided to hold out entirely: No more meetings and no more weightlifting sessions until the deal got done.

“He’s been kind of a face-of-the-program type of guy for us,” Mayhew said in February. “He’s very good out in the community and a good teammate and leader for us. And he made a ton of plays for us. So he’s important to us.”

Talks dragged on, prompting McLaurin to sit out the remainder of optional organized team activities and mandatory minicamp at the risk of a hefty fine. But the sides came together to reach an accord a month before training camp.

McLaurin will return in July to begin working with his ninth quarterback in Carson Wentz and a roster with many new faces, notably first-round rookie wide receiver Jahan Dotson.

“I’ve now been watching film and seeing different things and seeing him just continue to make play after play. The dynamic he brings will just elevate us. There’s no doubt about it,” Wentz said of McLaurin. “He’s an extremely talented guy and a great, great person, I’ve already learned, and a hard-working guy. So I know he’ll be ready to go when that time is.”

What to read about the Washington Commanders

Exclusive: An employee of Washington’s NFL team accused Commanders owner Daniel Snyder of asking for sex, groping her and attempting to remove her clothes, according to legal correspondence obtained by The Post. A team investigation concluded the woman was lying in an attempt to extort Snyder.

Capitol Hill: Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, announced that the committee intends to issue a subpoena to compel the testimony of Snyder.

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Penalized: The NFL fined Commanders head coach Ron Rivera $100,000 and docked the team two OTA practices in 2023 for excessive hitting during their offseason program this year, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

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