Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington has still got plenty of upside, and his stats over the last few seasons prove that he could be a pass catching star in the making.
However, the Steelers have plenty of pass catchers, and when the team decided to work out a one-year deal with Ju-Ju Smith Schuster this offseason, it appeared that Washington’s days in the Steel City could be numbered.
That was a few weeks ago, and despite the rumors, Washington claims that he never asked for a trade from Pittsburgh.
“As far as me being happy in Pittsburgh, I love it here. Who wouldn’t be happy playing football as their job?” Washington said via ESPN.
“I come to work every day with a smile on my face. I’m eager to be here with my guys — joking around, laughing, playing a sport I love.”
What type of role will Washington have with the Steelers in 2021? While it might not be as extensive as in the past few years, there’s no question he’ll still be in the mix to make plays for Ben Roethlisberger and the Black and Gold.
“I’m just trying to do what I can. I just want to show people I can be available and make the plays they want me to make. Just do what I need to do,” Washington said.
The 25-year-old 2019 draft pick went from 38 rookie season targets to 80 two years ago when Roethlisberger was on the shelf after elbow surgery.
In 2020, he had 56 targets and caught 30 of those passes for 392 yards and five scores.
It will be interesting to see how many targets Washington gets in 2021, and how it plays out with him as the ‘go-to’ guy in Pittsburgh’s offense.