Steelers Rumors: James Washington Requests Trade over Playing Time Concerns

Adam WellsAugust 6, 2021

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington (13) works during the team's NFL mini-camp football practice in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington is reportedly looking for a fresh start with a new organization. 

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Washington has formally requested a trade because of a lack of playing time last season and so far this year in training camp. 

The 2021 season marks the final year of Washington's rookie contract. He is only set to earn $1.01 million in base salary.   

Washington was a well-regarded prospect coming out of Oklahoma State in 2018. He was ranked as the eighth-best wide receiver and No. 60 overall player in the draft by ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr

"He's built like a running back and turns into one after the catch," ESPN's scouting report on Washington read. While he doesn't show an elite second gear, he's fast and athletic enough to threaten vertically and he's rarely caught from behind after the catch."

The Steelers selected Washington with the 60th overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. He joined a receiving group that included Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster. 

After being used sparingly as a rookie, Washington took a step forward in 2019. The 25-year-old led the team with 16.7 yards per reception, ranked second in targets (80) and third in receptions (44). 

Washington also played at least 71 percent of the offensive snaps in each of the final seven games in 2019. He only had one game with that many snaps played during the entire 2020 season. 

Even though he appeared in all 16 games last year, Washington had just 56 targets, 30 receptions and 392 yards.