Mike Tomlin denies James Washington has requested trade

Sport

Steelers receiver James Washington has requested a trade . . . unless he hasn’t.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Friday that the receiver has asked out. The Steelers denied it a day later.

“He has not,” Tomlin said following practice when asked if Washington has expressed any dissatisfaction or requested a trade, via Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Those unnamed sources, we don’t react to or respond to. James has been great here, working, and having a good camp.”

Washington was not made available to reporters after making a leaping catch for a touchdown from Mason Rudolph in Saturday’s practice.

Washington’s 486 offensive snaps, which was 44.2 percent of the team’s offensive snaps, ranked fourth among receivers on the team last season. In 16 games, he made 30 catches for 392 yards and five touchdowns.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson likely remain ahead of Washington in opportunities this season barring injury. So can offensive coordinator Matt Canada keep everyone happy?

Canada insists Washington has “a good role” in the offense.

“James Washington’s awesome,” Canada said. “He comes to work every day. He’s a good guy to be around. Hasn’t said a word to me. Just plays hard every day and practices hard every day. I’m a huge fan of James. I really am.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean Washington’s agent hasn’t asked Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert for a trade. It also doesn’t mean the Steelers won’t trade him.

For now, though, Washington remains a Steeler.

The Steelers made Washington a 2018 second-round choice. He has 90 catches for 1,344 yards and nine touchdowns in three seasons.