Saturday, June 25, 2022

Media personality urges Colts to trade for star wide receiver

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The Indianapolis Colts added two pass catchers, including wide receiver Alec Pierce, with their first two picks of the 2022 NFL Draft. But media personality Darius Butler says the Colts should be interested in adding another receiver.

When appearing on The Pat McAfee Show on June 13 Butler stubbornly argued that the Colts should try to act well above Terry McLaurin for Washington Commanders.

“I want to take this guy to Indy.” said Butler. “We need this guy for Indy. Get Matty Ice a gun. We’ve got the money, write the check [Jim] Irsay.

“Take this guy home.”

Further spreading the Colts rumors, McLaurin host Pat McAfee reported on June 14 that McLaurin, originally from Indianapolis, “liked tweets about Reggie Wayne as the greatest wide receiver coach of all time.”

Wayne is entering his first season as wide receivers coach at Indianapolis.

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While liking tweets shouldn’t really mean anything in the grand scheme of the NFL, McLaurin to the Colts doesn’t seem to be out of the realm of possibility. Leading Colts analyst Zach Hicks of Sports Illustrated reported on June 13 that the Colts asked for a trade for McLaurin “a few months ago.”

“Washington was staunchly opposed, but who knows what will happen with recent holding out,” tweeted Hicks.

McLaurin did not show up for minicamp on June 14, according to multiple reports. Washington NFL reporter Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post reports The Commanders and McLaurin have continued negotiations for a new contract, but the two sides are miles apart. McLaurin left Washington and returned to Florida to train alone.

Jhabvala too reported that McLaurin could face a maximum fine of $95,877 for missing all three days of minicamp.

McLaurin is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Spotrac reports that he will make $2.79 million in 2022.

That’s well below its market value. Spotrac reckons McLaurin would land a contract with an average annual salary of about $21 million if he were on the open market this summer.

McLaurin has 222 catches, 3,090 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in 46 games in three seasons with Washington. He’s racked up 1,000-yard campaigns in each of the past two years, though Washington has started six different quarterbacks.

Hicks’ account, while intriguing, doesn’t confirm that Indianapolis is still interested in McLaurin. Colts head coach Frank Reich has shown a lot of confidence in Pierce and some of Indianapolis’ other young receivers this offseason.

“This group looked good. We’re not in pads, it’s all sorts of offensive drills, so tone that down a bit,” Reich told OTAs on June 1. “We have to go to the training camp with pads. [But] I feel good in the group.”

The Colts might be content to see how their young receivers fare this season. That’s probably why they didn’t re-sign TY Hilton.

But if Indianapolis is still interested in McLaurin and acquires him, he will arrive in his hometown as the Colts’ new No. 1 receiver.

McLaurin has big play skills. He averaged 15.8 yards per catch and had seven touchdowns as a rookie in 2019.

He is also a reliable target. McLaurin has averaged more than five receptions per game and has posted a 62.1% save rate over the past two years.

To win him, general manager Chris Ballard must give up several draft picks and then re-sign McLaurin to a new contract worth over $20 million a season.

It cost the Philadelphia Eagles 18th and 101st overall picks in that recent draft to trade for Tennessee Titans wide receiver AJ Brown. Commanders will likely ask for a similar package of picks when they’re ready to trade in the young star receiver.

Spotrac reports that the Colts rank 18th in the NFL with about $10.6 million in salary caps. They could work out a contract for McLaurin to fit under the cap, but any other moves Ballard is making this offseason are being made with the intention of also signing guard Quenton Nelson to a record deal very soon.

Hicks’ account, while intriguing, doesn’t confirm that Indianapolis is still interested in McLaurin. Colts head coach Frank Reich has shown a lot of confidence in Pierce and some of Indianapolis’ other young receivers this offseason.



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