Three of the top wide receivers currently on their rookie contracts are taking steps to apply pressure to their respective teams regarding new deals. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown and Terry McLaurin are among the players not expected to take part in the on-field portion of their clubs’ offseason programs (Twitter link).
Those three were taken in the second and, in McLaurin’s case, third round of the 2019 Draft. As a result, Samuel and Brown are scheduled to make just under $4MM in 2022, while McLaurin is due $2.79MM. Those figures rank each player far lower down the list of wideout salaries than they will be when they sign a second contract, especially given the upward trend seen in the WR market this offseason.
Extensions signed by Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams and Stefon Diggs are chief among the new deals comfortably averaging more than $20MM per season. As a result of other lucrative contracts handed out over the past month, the number of wideouts set to make or eclipse that mark is now nine. Between that fact, and the expected surge in the salary cap ceiling in the near future, a number of young receivers will be requesting sizeable new pacts as early as possible.
Samuel has long been named as a top financial priority for the 49ers. In 2021 especially, he demonstrated his unique ability in both the passing and running games, posting 1,770 scrimmage yards and 14 total touchdowns. That led to a report last week claiming he will be seeking around $25MM per season.
Brown, meanwhile, had his worst statistical season in 2021. In 13 games, he still totalled 869 receiving yards and averaged nearly 14 yards per catch. He has two 1,000-yard seasons and a Pro Bowl to his name, and extension talks have begun between him and the Titans. As for McLaurin, his production despite inconsistent QB play has been impressive; he has recorded 222 receptions for 3,090 yards and 16 scores, making his extension a priority for Washington.
As Schefter notes, McLaurin will still attend the Commanders’ program, which starts today. Still, the fact that he and the others will not be on the field signals their desire to get extended before the final year of their rookie deals begins in the fall.