The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is underway, and they are hoping for a better outcome in comparison to last season. After starting out 11-0, they finished the year 1-4 in the regular season, and then lost in the Wildcard Round to the Cleveland Browns, ignited by a 0-28 first quarter.
They have lost a large number of key players in the offseason, like Maurkice Pouncey, Bud Dupree, Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro, Mike Hilton, and Steven Nelson, but they’ve also made significant additions as the months have gone on, notably Trai Turner, Melvin Ingram, Joe Schobert, and Ahkello Witherspoon. They also added Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Kendrick Green, and Dan Moore Jr., all of whom look to be in a starting role (or complementary role in Freiermuth’s case) for the season opener.
There isn’t much left to do but to play the games at this point. They have a 53-man roster, though it will always change to some degree. They still have a lot to figure out, though, such as what Matt Canada’s offense is going to look like in any given week, or how the new-look secondary and offensive line is going to play.
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: What would be the right price for the Steelers to be willing to move wide receiver James Washington?
There’s a price for almost everybody. The Steelers were willing to trade quarterback Joshua Dobbs in 2019 when the Jacksonville Jaguars offered them a fifth-round pick. They couldn’t say no to the Oakland Raiders’ third rounder for Martavis Bryant. What would it take for them to move James Washington?
While nobody has commented on it publicly, reports have suggested that Washington has wanted to be traded, but has accepted the idea that he would not be. But playing football leads to injuries, which leads to needs, which leads to desperation. That’s how the Jaguars paid a fifth rounder for Dobbs, and the Steelers paid the same for Nick Vannett.
What if, say, the Cowboys or the Bills lose a receiver, and they are willing to give up a fifth-round pick for Washington—maybe even a fourth-round pick? Would that be enough incentive for the Steelers to move him? It’s not as though he is incredibly decorated.
In 46 games played, Washington has recorded 92 receptions on 176 targets, producing 1,354 yards and nine touchdowns. He was only targeted twice, catching both passes for 10 yards, on 15 snaps on Sunday against the Bills, some of which came in the brief time Diontae Johnson was sidelined.
But maybe that Johnson injury put the scare in them to move him. Because what if somebody does go down, which is quite likely? Ray-Ray McCloud, Steven Sims, and Cody White are your next two guys up. What is that security of having Washington worth? More than a fourth?