If Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington indeed wants to be traded, like Adam Schefter of ESPN reported on Friday is the case, it sort of sounds like it is news to head coach Mike Tomlin.
After Saturday’s training camp practice at Heinz Field took place, Tomlin, according to 93.7 The Fan, was asked if Washington has expressed dissatisfaction with his lack of catches or opportunities so far this offseason.
“He has not,” Tomlin reportedly said. “Those unnamed sources we don’t react to or respond to. James has been great here working and having a great camp.”
According to a Friday report by Schefter, Washington, the Steelers’ second-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma State, has approached the team and requested a trade based on his limited playtime last season and so far this preseason.
Saturday night on Twitter, Getty Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, reported that Washington has not requested a trade from the Steelers, according to multiple sources of his.
Against the Dallas Cowboys Thursday night in the Hall of Fame game, Washington played 27 total offensive snaps. He was targeted just twice in the game but failed to make a catch. He began the game behind starters Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson and played well into the second half of the third quarter.
Last season, Washington caught 30 passes for 392 yards and five touchdowns in 486 total offensive snaps played, a career low in snaps. He was clearly passed during the season as the team’s top Z receiver by then-rookie Claypool and was also behind JuJu Smith-Schuster and Johnson. So far this summer, Washington is the clear No. 4 wide receiver on the depth chart. This is also a contract year for him, as well.
In Washington’s three-year Steeler career, he has 90 receptions for 1,344 yards and nine touchdowns. He set career-bests with 44 catches and 735 yards in 2019, playing with quarterbacks Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges.
We’ll now have to wait and see if Washington is asked about him reportedly asking the Steelers to trade him the next time he meets the media. According to several reports on Saturday, Washington had a very good practice at Heinz Field just two days after the team’s first preseason game of 2021.