In a rather unexpected report following the Hall of Fame Game, NFL insider Adam Schefter tweeted out that Steelers wide receiver James Washington had requested a trade from the team following his lack of playing of time.
Steelers’ WR James Washington, a former 2018 second-round pick, has approached the Steelers and requested a trade based on his limited playtime last season and so far this preseason, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 6, 2021
However, it now looks like the report wasn’t true.
At the team’s Saturday practice, head coach Mike Tomlin responded to a question regarding if Washington had requested a trade, saying, “He has not. Those unnamed sources, we don’t react to or respond to. James has been great here, working, having a good camp.”
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on @AdamSchefter's report yesterday that receiver James Washington has requested a trade. "He has not. Those unnamed sources, we don't react to or respond to. James has been great here, working, having a good camp."— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 7, 2021
For what it's worth, folks.
On top of Tomlin throwing water on the trade request rumors, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also reports, via his Steelers sources, the former Oklahoma State receiver has not requested a trade.
James Washington has NOT requested a trade from Steelers, according to multiple sources.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) August 7, 2021
This may be great news for Steelers fans, as the fourth-year receiver has indeed impressed during training camp this year. Despite being depth in a talented receiver room, Washington provides great security at the position and has impressed when given time to play. He had a team-high 735 receiving yards in 2019, and set a career-high of 5 touchdowns in 2020 despite being buried on the depth chart.
Despite the trade rumors being quieted, there’s still reason to expect the former Oklahoma State product to be on the move in the near future. Washington is on the last year of his contract and is set to be an unrestricted free agent for the 2022 season. And despite Tomlin’s response to the report, Washington’s status with the Steelers still makes him a viable trade target who could draw interest from several teams.
Make sure to stay tuned to Behind the Steel Curtain for more news and updates as the Steelers prepare for the 2021 season.