The Washington Football Team’s offense has come crashing back down to earth after a blazing hot start to the season.
We’re hard-pressed to put all of the blame on Taylor Heinicke’s shoulders, but you really have to wonder what this offense would look like if it had an upper-echelon quarterback calling the shots.
It would also help if Washington’s playmakers could stay healthy, too.
On top of Logan Thomas, whom many projected to take another step forward after his breakout 2020 campaign, being on injured reserve, Terry McLaurin is battling a hamstring injury, Cam Sims has been shelved with a bad hammy, and Dyami Brown has been hampered by a knee injury.
Additionally, Curtis Samuel’s groin injury figures to be a thing all year. That’s to say nothing of Antonio Gibson playing through a stress fracture in his shin, but let’s stay focused on the wide receiver position.
In light of all these injuries, and nobody emerging as a consistent threat opposite McLaurin, Washington could be in the mix for a WR at the trade deadline.
In terms of potential targets, Steelers speedster James Washington feels like someone worth taking a flier on.
Should the Washington Football Team pursue James Washington at the trade deadline?
The NFL can be deceiving. As soon as JuJu Smith-Schuster was lost for the season with a shoulder injury, it was immediately surmised that Washington would step into a bigger role alongside Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool.
That’s been anything but the case. Despite using a second-round pick on Washington just three years ago, the Steelers’ usage of him continues to befuddle fans. He was inactive due to injury for Pittsburgh’s first game without Smith-Schuster, but returned in Week 6 and played just EIGHT snaps, or 11%.
After that no-show, Washington has now logged three games this season in which he’s played less than 27% of the Steelers’ offensive snaps. That’s inexcusable, as the 25-year-old is one of the premier deep threats in the league.
Why shouldn’t Washington, which has gotten nothing out of the receiver position aside from McLaurin look to save…Washington (yeah, we know) from Pittsburgh? We’re talking about a player who’s averaged 14.5 yards per reception for his career.
Sure, he’s never had more than 44 receptions in a season, but, like we said, the Steelers have never fully unleashed them in their pass-heavy offense.
And if Pittsburgh is reluctant to unload Washington amid his limited rule, well, that would make as much sense as holding onto Ben Roethlisberger for as long as they have. Newsflash: you’re now two years too late.
Sorry, we had to do it.
Make no mistake, there will be better wideouts teams look to acquire at the deadline. Allen Robinson, Odell Beckham Jr. and Michael Thomas are just a few names that come to mind.
Assuming the WFT isn’t in the mix for those studs, they could do a lot worse than pursue a proven deep threat on an expiring contract.
Washington wouldn’t cost more than a mid- or late-round draft pick. If he exceeds expectations, then don’t re-sign him. If he pans out, then you’ve found another foundational piece for pennies on the dollar.
What say you, Washington (Football Team) fans?