NFL News & Analysis

Doug Kyed's Mailbag: Deebo Samuel and Terry McLaurin's Contract Extensions, the Chicago Bears' 2022 outlook and Baker Mayfield's future team

Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) runs with the ball past Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches (56) and Buccaneers nose tackle Vita Vea (50) during the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

NFL teams are set to take the next five months off between minicamp and training camp.

Nonetheless, before the league goes on an extended break, fans want to know about potential contract extensions for Deebo Samuel, Terry McLaurin and Jordan Poyer, the Chicago Bears’ 2022 outlook and where Baker Mayfield will wind up.

Let's dive in.

@AdamKoffler: The people need to know about both Deebo Samuel and Terry McLaurin. Is it simply a matter of time before both guys are extended, OR, is there a chance either guy could be traded?

My immediate thought on Samuel and McLaurin is just that the NFL is always unpredictable. Two months ago, when Samuel requested a trade from the San Francisco 49ers, who would have forseen him attending minicamp without a new contract while McLaurin skips Washington Commanders practices? But here we are.

I think the most likely conclusion to both sagas is that both players sign contract extensions with their current teams, but anything is on the table. Once again, the NFL is hard to predict. Who saw the Tennessee Titans trading A.J. Brown?

First, it’s a good sign that Samuel attended minicamp. The 49ers have remained optimistic publicly that a deal will get done with Samuel, and they need him on the roster to see what Trey Lance can offer at quarterback. They have George Kittle at tight end in addition to Elijah Mitchell, Jeff Wilson, Trey Sermon and Tyrion Davis-Price at running back, but their wide receiver depth gets shallow after Samuel with Brandon Aiyuk, Ray-Ray McCloud, Marcus Johnson, Danny Gray and Jauan Jennings filling out the room.

The Commanders, at least, just drafted Jahan Dotson and have Curtis Samuel and Dyami Brown on their roster. Additionally, at least the Seattle Seahawks, who face their own uncertain future with DK Metcalf, still have Tyler Lockett on the team.

The Commanders have also remained publicly optimistic that they can get a deal done with McLaurin and even after drafting Dotson, it makes a ton of sense to lock up their overachieving 2019 third-round pick. At this present moment, Washington doesn’t have as much cap space next season as the 49ers and Seahawks, but it certainly has enough space and flexibility to extend a player who should be a franchise pillar.

The Philadelphia Eagles traded for Brown then signed him to a four-year, $100 million contract, which is right around the deal that Samuel, McLaurin and Metcalf should all be looking for. 

@mslodki645: Are the Bears going to reach six wins?

The Bears’ over/under win total for 2022 is 6.5 wins. So, oddsmakers have them at slightly over six wins. I think all it takes is slight improvement from quarterback Justin Fields, and I have confidence in him.

I liked Fields a lot coming out of Ohio State, and I think new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy can get the most out of him. The roster definitely needs some work, and the deck is slightly stacked against Fields with Darnell Mooney, Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown as his top wide receivers (I like Mooney a lot, but that group needs rookie Velus Jones to step up).

It’s easy to second guess the Bears’ decision to take two defensive backs – Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker – early in the second round, but I also think Chicago liked the wide receiver depth in the draft and had confidence a quality player would be there when it took Jones.

@dinodoodeTV: You probably already expanded on it, but what does the Fitzpatrick signing mean for Bills S Poyer? Can they even afford to extend him/rework his contract?

The Buffalo Bills could actually free up $4.544 million in salary cap space by extending Poyer. They’re already up against the cap for next season, but there are some pretty easy ways to clear space. Restructuring Josh Allen’s contract alone would free up $21 million.

So, the Bills have the flexibility to extend Poyer, but I don’t see Minkah Fitzpatrick’s deal having a major impact on what he will get in a new deal. Fitzpatrick is still only 25 years old, and the Pittsburgh Steelers traded a first-round pick for him. Poyer is 31 years old. I think Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates and Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James could match or exceed the figures on Fitzpatrick’s deal (four years, $73.6 million).

Poyer is already the 12th highest-paid safety on a per-year basis. He was a first-time first-team All-Pro in 2021, however, so he’s certainly made a case for a raise.

Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith, 33, is older than Poyer and signed a deal worth $16 million per year last offseason. That would be the absolute ceiling for a Poyer deal. Another deal worth around $10 million per year would be the floor. I suspect he gets something in the middle.

@rich_severson: Need to keep one in a keeper league PPR  Mahomes, Kelse, Javonte Williams or Najee Harris

I trust my guys at PFF, and Najee Harris is the No. 2 ranked player in our dynasty startup rankings. I’m going with him.

@Nihilist_Karl: Does Seattle sign Baker Mayfield at some point this upcoming season?

I’m at the point where I think any team that adds Mayfield will be getting great value. Mayfield has some limitations as a quarterback, but even including last year’s injury-plagued season, he has an 84.0 overall PFF grade through the first four seasons of his NFL career — 18th among quarterbacks.

He definitely deserves to be one of the 32 NFL starting QBs, and the Seahawks, Carolina Panthers and even the Houston Texans should be interested. There’s a handful of other teams around the NFL who would upgrade their QB role by adding Mayfield.

I still think he gets traded rather than released, however. The Cleveland Browns could net a compensatory pick if they let Mayfield sit all season then lose him as a free agent. Why eat all of his salary anyway and not get anything in return?

@Babineau2Dustin: What is one thing holding the NFL back from fully guaranteed contracts? I get the big numbers in the media are sexy, but what needs to happen to make all contracts guaranteed?

I believe the length of contracts would likely need to get shorter, and the inflated numbers at the end of deals would need to be shrunk.

Ultimately, the top-end quarterbacks need to sign fully guaranteed contracts. Then the top players at other premier positions, such as defensive end, wide receiver and left tackle, would need to follow suit.

@TalksBelly: At 70 years old with multiple @SuperBowl rings, when do we see Bill Belichick chase a @PremierLacrosse championship? #PFFMailbag

PLL co-founder Paul Rabil said he believes Bill Belichick would be interested in coaching lacrosse when he retires from the NFL, and Rabil and Belichick are close. So, I’m going to have to believe Rabil on this one.

But when will that be? I was watching New England Patriots minicamp practices last week, and Belichick doesn’t look like he’s ready to stop coaching football any time soon. He was out there dropping back into coverage at outside linebacker and shotgun snapping balls to quarterback Mac Jones.

I think Belichick has a few more years left in him as the Patriots coach before we start talking about him taking over the PLL.

Belichick does love lacrosse, though.


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