Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington reached out to the team on Friday asking for a trade. The former Oklahoma second-round draft pick has played for the Steelers for the past three seasons.
However, due to a lack of playing time during his tenure with the Steelers and apparently this preseason too, Washington wants to be traded elsewhere so that he has the opportunity to play more.
Steelers' WR James Washington, a former 2018 second-round pick, has reached out to the Steelers requesting a swap based on his limited playing time last season and so far this preseason, per source.
– Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 6, 2021
Although Washington has limited playing time for the team, it has been a reliable receiver for the Steelers. But with JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool ahead of him on the team's depth chart, his playing time has continued to shrink.
Where and when the Steelers decide to deal with James Washington is still unknown. But one thing is certain, the team is likely to get a reliable wide receiver capable of getting downfield when needed.
One of the many teams that may be interested in becoming a trading partner for Washington is the Detroit Lions. What could Washington do with Jared Goff at the New Looking Lions Center now? With that in mind, here are three reasons Lions could benefit from acquiring the Pittsburgh Steelers WR James Washington.
# 1 The departure of experienced wide receivers
In addition to exchanging Matthew Stafford for the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for Jared Goff, the Lions also parted ways with most of their wide receivers. Kenny Golladay, Danny Amendola, Marvin Jones Jr. and Jamal Agnew are no longer in the roster.
The Lions should give Goff a reliable wide receiver that he is used to working with. James Washington could be that guy. Along with rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown and Breshad Perriman, Washington would help increase the Lions' large reception room.
# 2 Speedy slot receiver
James Washington's speed has enabled him to be an accurate and reliable slot receiver if he's seen game time in Pittsburgh. His ability to track and get where his quarterback needs him made him choose the team.
Washington has over 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns with the Steelers in its three seasons with the team. That could increase a lot if he becomes a starter.
# 3 Affordability
James Washington is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Obviously, he doesn't think he's going to play enough to land a significant contract renewal or, if anything, with the Steelers.
If the Lions traded in for James Washington, the remaining salary on his contract would be just over $ 1 million. For a wide receiver this could potentially be a WR 1; that is economical.
In exchange for Washington, Lions would likely only have to send draft picks, and probably no higher than one in the third round, considering Washington only played 44% of the snaps in 2020.
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