Questions surround Steelers James Washington’s trade request
The Steelers got to enjoy their Hall of Fame Game victory for all of about one minute. Then came the trade requests from wide receiver James Washington.
Well, supposedly, James Washington requested a trade. Now a few days after the fact, reports have surfaced that Washington never requested a trade. At this juncture, there seems to be some confusion as to what may have happened.
At this point, despite the trade rumors, it appears that there will be no immediate trade in the works for the Steelers wide receiver.
Why would Washington want to be traded?
Well, if there is any validity to the trade request, no one should be overly shocked. Of all the receivers on the Steelers, Washington has been the least productive, only racking up 90 receptions for 1,344 yards and nine touchdowns over three seasons. Washington essentially became a product of his environment over that time.
Playing behind Antonio Brown in his rookie season limited his production. With Brown leaving in 2019, the Steelers and not having that imposing wideout with injuries to JuJu and Big Ben Washington did pick up the slack. However, failing to make the playoffs in 2019, JuJu healed from his injury, and the Steelers drafted Chase Claypool.
Then in the 2021 Hall of Fame Game while starting was only targeted twice with no receptions. Washington, between 2019 and 2021, is really a victim of ‘wide receiver by committee’. The Steelers generally have a great receiving corps. Without the dominating receiver like Antonio Brown, Washington’s lack of success is due to the fact he plays amid other talented wideouts.
So considering he enters a contract year next season, it would make sense he might want a trade to a team with less talented receivers to negotiate a higher contract than perhaps he could staying with the Steelers in 2021. In that sense, one could hardly blame Washington for wanting a trade.