5 contracts holding the Washington Commanders back right now

The Commanders have a lot to spend, but these contracts are a hefty burden.

Terry McLaurin
Terry McLaurin / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Terry McLaurin - Commanders WR

  • 2024 salary-cap hit: $24.1 million

Terry McLaurin remains a model of consistency. The dynamic wide receiver had to overcome some severe complications in 2023. Despite all this, he still managed to secure another 1,000-yard receiving campaign in Week 18 against the Dallas Cowboys.

McLaurin is officially the highest-paid Washington Commanders player next time around. His $24.1 million salary-cap number leads the team. It's No. 12 league-wide and represents 9.7 percent of the overall cap.

There's no denying McLaurin is a core piece of Washington's plans for the future. He's one of the NFL's most underrated route-runners and has been for some time. The former Ohio State standout's evolution into a locker-room alpha only enhances his influence.

That said, it might be worth general manager Adam Peters getting his cap number down to build other areas of the roster. Restructuring players can be complicated. Fortunately in McLaurin's case, his importance to the Commanders means this can be done with minimal fuss as part of their long-term planning.

McLaurin is going to be integral to Washington's hopes of improving next season. This bears more significance if the Commanders bring in a rookie quarterback. They'll need a dependable pass-catcher in key moments to smooth their transition. Make no mistake, the 2019 third-round pick is one of the best around.