Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says ESPN’s Adam Schefter is full of beans when it comes to the report that receiver James Washington has requested a trade.
“He has not. Those unnamed sources, we don’t react to or respond to,” Tomlin said, reacting and responding. “James has been great here, working, having a good camp.”
Schefter reported Friday that Washington “has approached the Steelers and requested a trade based on his limited playtime last season and so far this preseason, per source.”
Washington was a second-round draft pick of the Steelers in 2018, leading the team in receiving yards (735) in 2019. But his numbers declined sharply last season, when he had nearly 30 fewer targets and more than 300 fewer receiving yards (392). That said, he did catch five touchdowns — a career-high.
As it stands, Washington dropped on the team’s depth chart, and now seemingly finds himself behind the likes of Chase Claypool, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson.
So it might actually make sense if Washington wants out. But Tomlin said that’s not the case. The truth, it’s easy to surmise, is likely somewhere in between.
The Steelers’ next preseason game is Thursday night at Philadelphia. They open the season Sept. 12 at Buffalo.