NFL Rumors: James Washington Breaks Silence On Rumored Trade Request From Steelers

James Washington running with the ball
Gettyimages | Justin K. Aller
Football

In the past months, rumors have been continuously swirling around veteran wide receiver James Washington and his future with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In a Twitter post, Adam Schefter of ESPN revealed that Washington approached the Steelers and asked to be traded away from Pittsburgh.

According to Schefter, Washington's decision to demand a trade from the Steelers stemmed from the limited playing time that he received in the 2020 NFL season and in the preseason. However, it remains unknown if a trade involving Washington would happen before the start of the 2021 NFL season.

James Washington Didn't Deny Trade Request

James Washington protecting the ball
Gettyimages | Justin K. Aller

More than a week after Schefter's report, Washington decided to break his silence regarding the rumors surrounding him and the Steelers. In a recent interview with reporters, the 25-year-old wide receiver didn't deny that he made a trade request from Steelers, but he said that he's currently "happy" in Pittsburgh.

"That's a private conversation," Washington said, as quoted by Brooke Pryor of ESPN. "As far as me being happy in Pittsburgh, I love it here. Who wouldn't be happy playing football as their job? 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."

James Washington Talked To Coaching Staff About Limited Role On Offense

James Washington celebrates after the team scores
Gettyimages | Joe Sargent

Though he didn't directly confirm nor deny his rumored desire to leave Pittsburgh, Washington admitted that he had a conversation with the Steelers' coaching staff about an increased role in their offense.

"It's been talked about," Washington said. "But 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."

As of now, Washington is buried in the Steelers' depth chart with JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool, and Diontae Johnson considered as starters.

Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada Denies James Washington Approaches Him

Matt Canada wearing a cowboy hat
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Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada has immediately denied that Washington approached them regarding his desire to have an expanded role in their offense. However, Canada doesn't seem to have any hard feelings toward Washington's statement. Canada said that he remains a huge fan of the veteran wide receiver.

He also described him as a great player to be around and praised his work ethic. After Claypool was sidelined due to an ankle injury, the Steelers gave Washington the opportunity to be more involved in their offense in their recent practice at Heinz Field.

Coach Mike Tomlin Says James Washington Hasn't Demanded A Trade

Mike Tomlin having an interview after the game
Gettyimages | Joe Sargent

Meanwhile, as soon as he was made aware of Schefter's report, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has quickly stepped up to address the issue. Tomlin strongly denied that Washington approached them and personally expressed his desire to leave Pittsburgh. The 49-year-old coach said that they don't react nor respond to "unnamed sources."

Tomlin assured Steelers' fans that Washington has been "great" with the team. However, like Canada, he didn't give any guarantee if Washington would be involved in their offense in the 2021 NFL season.