Speaking to the media Wednesday for the first time since signing a three-year, $70 million contract extension, star Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin made it clear he always wanted to stay with the team. And he knew the Commanders wanted him to stick around.
McLaurin was entering the final year of his rookie deal and missed mandatory minicamp as he held out for a new contract. The two sides were able to reach a deal last week.
“He’s an organizational signing,” head coach Ron Rivera told the media. “It impacts not just the football side but the business side. It tells people we want to retain young men of this stature; we want young men of this magnitude out there representing our organization.”
"I cried some real tears because for a lot of my life, I really had to grind and work for what I have now."@TheTerry_25 could not be more humble and grateful after signing his contract extension. ❤️🙏 (via @Commanders) pic.twitter.com/ClhR9CY7ka
— NFL (@NFL) July 7, 2022
Once his extension was announced, McLaurin released a statement on social media thanking people who’ve helped him along his journey. God was first on his list.
“I am thankful to serve a God who has granted me endless grace and mercy,” he wrote. “He is the reason I am standing here today. Without him, I do not know where I would be. I am excited to see what he has in store for me and how he will use my testimony for his goodness.”
— Terry McLaurin (@TheTerry_25) June 30, 2022
McLaurin also posted pictures of Wednesday’s event on Instagram and gave glory to God in his caption.
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The Commanders took McLaurin in the third round of the 2019 draft. He caught 58 passes for 919 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie, which set the stage for back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2020 and 2021.
The 26-year-old played in every game last season and ranked in the top 25 in receptions (77), targets (130), receiving yards (1,053) and receiving first downs (47). Despite having eight different quarterbacks start for his team, only 12 wideouts have more receiving yards than McLaurin since he entered the league.
Washington acquired veteran Carson Wentz from the Indianapolis Colts this offseason with the goal of bringing some stability to the quarterback position. McLaurin and Wentz have stayed in touch and now get to start building chemistry on the field.
“One thing that’s stuck out about Carson is just he’s a very personable guy,” McLaurin said. “He’s somebody that we’ve connected with on a very personable level since he’s gotten here. Even throughout the process, he was reaching out to me, checking in on me.”
In an interview with the IndyStar prior to the 2019 draft, the Indianapolis, Indiana, native encouraged anyone hoping to follow in his footsteps to put their faith in God and be willing to put in the work.
“I hope kids from Indianapolis and whoever else that sees my story learns: With faith and hard work anything can work out,” McLaurin said. “Any dream or aspiration you have, if you have the faith that you can do it, put faith in God, push yourself and not allow yourself to be denied, then anything can happen.”
Nothing can stop what God had for you.
— Terry McLaurin (@TheTerry_25) May 6, 2022
The Commanders host the Carolina Panthers in their first preseason game on Aug. 13. They open the regular season at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 11.
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