Nate Washington: Will He Stay or Will He Go

josh rolandContributor IDecember 26, 2008

The Pittsburgh Steelers have their work cut out for them this upcoming offseason. They need to find a way to fix their terrible offensive line, reconsider the position of Bruce Arians as offensive coordinator, and most importantly offer a new contract to will-be free agent Nate Washington.


In April, the Steelers gave fourth-year receiver Nate Washington a one-year contract worth $1.4 million. Ten days later, they picked Limas Sweed during the second round of the NFL draft and signed him to a $3.2 million contract that will lock him up for four years.


Most people had speculated that Sweed would be quickly worked into the offense and replace Washington as the third receiver. So far, that has not happened.


In 10 games, Sweed has six catches for 64 yards. Not very impressive for a second-round pick. Whether his lack of playing time is due to difficulty adapting to the NFL or a decision by coach Mike Tomlin is unknown.


It is know, though, that something needs to change. The Steelers do not draft players that high and give them million-dollar contracts to warm the bench.


Nate Washington is having a very good season with 39 catches for 618 yards and three touchdowns. His stats are close to those of the St. Louis Rams starting WR Torry Holt.


Given the above information, it is very obvious that Pittsburgh needs to offer Washington a new contract. The Steelers have passed the ball 479 times this year and ran 425 times. If this holds true next season, then Washington will be a very huge asset to the team.


Coach Mike Tomlin will turn 37 in March. The only gift he should be hoping for is that Washington will stay loyal to the team that drafted him and not sign with another franchise. For the sake of our offense, let's all hope.