Steelers don’t have a WR we should trust with a big contract extension

JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
4 of 4
James Washington #13 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

James Washington

I am a big James Washington fan. While the former second-round pick doesn’t receive a fraction of the recognition as the three wide receivers ahead of him on the depth chart, he always seems to show up big for the team when they need him. In 2019 when JuJu was dealing with injuries, Washinton managed to lead the team in receiving, despite earning low-quality targets from Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges.

Last year, Washington was once again used in a limited fashion as he easily trailed Smith-Schuster, Johnson, and Claypool in snaps and targets. While I like a lot of things about Washington, I’ll be the first to admit that he doesn’t have any defining traits. The former Oklahoma State standout measures in just under 6 feet tall and doesn’t have the quickness or exposition to make up for his lack of elite size.

Washington has proved to be a trustworthy player down the field on catchable targets, but he’s not the quickest in and out of breaks. Despite his squeaky-clean character, he just doesn’t have enough special qualities to warrant a second contract with the team when his deal is up after the 2021 season.

Related Story. 2021 NFL Draft: breaking down the top three centers. light

Perhaps one of these receivers can change my mind with a breakout performance in 2021, but as of now, there isn’t a player of this group that I would feel comfortable handing a massive contract extension to when their time is up. Let’s hope they prove me wrong.