Redskins' Josh Doctson Expects to Become FA After 2020 Contract Option Declined

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2019

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 16:  Josh Doctson #18 of the Washington Redskins walks down the field during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at FedExField on September 16, 2018 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
G Fiume/Getty Images

Washington receiver Josh Doctson is preparing for the 2019 season as if it will be his final year in the nation's capital.

"I think I'm hitting free agency next year," Doctson said, per ESPN's John Keim. "I won't be the first, won't be the last. It's nothing to be sad about, be mad about. Someone wants you there, so it's all love."

His future with the team appeared uncertain at best after the team declined the fifth-year option on his rookie contract in May. The two sides could still reach an agreement on a new deal, but as of now, he is slated to hit the open market next offseason.

Some players may use a team declining an option as fuel. Not Doctson, though.

"No, because that would mean it would have gotten to me and I'd feel some type of way. There's no motivation," he said, per Keim. "I'm not trying to prove nothing to nobody. Just trying to get chemistry with the quarterbacks."

Since being taken 22nd overall in 2016, Doctson has yet to live up to the first-round billing. His career hit an early bump in the road as an Achilles injury limited him to just two games as a rookie. He showed promise during the 2017 campaign, recording 502 yards and six touchdowns in his first full season on the field.

While he established new career highs in both catches (44) and yards (532) last year, he has yet to make the impact expected of a first-round pick.

With 4.50-second 40-yard dash speed, the 6'2", 202-pound wideout was expected to be able to provide Washington with a downfield threat. However, he has averaged 13.6 yards per reception and has just 14 catches of 20-plus yards.

As Doctson noted, his focus is on getting on the same page as his quarterbacks. After Kirk Cousins held things down during Doctson's first two years in the league, Washington used four different quarterbacks last season—and it's unclear who will be under center in the fall. Journeyman Case Keenum was acquired earlier this offseason as Alex Smith and Colt McCoy rehab their respective leg injuries, though 15th overall pick Dwayne Haskins is expected to compete for the starting job.

Inconsistency at the quarterback position surely has not helped Doctson in his quest to find a rhythm early on in his career. Now, it will be up to the 26-year-old to prove himself this year as he plays for his next contract.


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