James Washington Landing Spots: Colts, Chiefs, and Bills all present potential options

What are the potential landing spots for Pittsburgh Steelers WR James Washington as he heads towards free agency in 2022?

After his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers never really got going, what are WR James Washington’s landing spots if he hits free agency in 2022? How will NFL teams view the 2018 second-round draft selection after an underwhelming first four years in the NFL?

James Washington landing spots

Washington’s career in Pittsburgh stuttered, looked like it was building momentum, then somewhat fizzled out. As a rookie, he caught just 16 of his 38 targets for 217 yards and a touchdown. Then in his second season, he saw 80 targets, reeling in 44 for 735 yards and 3 touchdowns. At that point, it looked like the young receiver’s career was set to take off.

Unfortunately, that has not been the case. In his third season, Washington saw just 56 targets, and he’s averaging fewer than 3 targets per game in 2021. Over the past two years, Washington has just 47 receptions for 576 yards. He has scored 6 touchdowns in that time, but the consistency has not been there in his play.

Washington would make an interesting WR2 in Kansas City

The 2021 season has seen the Chiefs somewhat rotate the third weapon in their passing offense behind Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Mecole Hardman is third in targets, but the results have been underwhelming, while Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson have also played a role.

The most dangerous this Chiefs offense has looked was when Sammy Watkins was playing as the WR2. As injuries started to hamper Watkins, Kansas City’s offense felt like it lost some of its potency. That is why the Chiefs are an interesting potential landing spot for Washington. While not a high-profile addition, he would provide an interesting WR2 option for the roster.

The Colts could use a solid veteran WR this offseason

Indianapolis might be the most perfect of all the options here. Michael Pittman Jr. has emerged as a WR1, while T.Y. Hilton’s career has faded due to injuries. If Hilton either leaves or remains in a limited capacity, the Colts need to add a veteran option to support Pittman.

Washington could fit that role well. He has not been a star and would be perfect in Zach Pascal’s role, seeing around 5 targets per game. Washington would be viewed as a higher-upside option and could easily match the 55.6% catch rate that Pascal has provided.

Would the Packers be an interesting fit for the Steelers’ WR?

The Packers will continue to be linked with any and every WR that is on the market. That speculation will only increase if they allow Davante Adams to hit free agency. Washington is not the splash signing at the position many Packers fans want, but he could be a perfect fit.

If the Packers were to add Washington on a one-year contract, he could reignite his career. He has the talent to entice the team but will likely be valued lowly enough that he will not cost a huge amount for a Green Bay team projected to be around $40 million over the cap.

Could the Buffalo Bills replace Emmanual Sanders with Washington?

The Bills have the core of their receiving group locked up with Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley. They also have Gabriel Davis under contract, while the emergence of Dawson Knox provides them with pass-catching depth. They added Emmanuel Sanders this past offseason on a one-year deal. If he leaves, Buffalo may look for a cut-price option to replace him.

That is the role that Washington could play quite nicely. He would be a cheap veteran for the offense, playing a similar function to Sanders. The biggest question is whether he would be looking to step into a role that would come with the uncertainty of playing alongside all those weapons.

Washington could potentially be a low-cost addition for the Saints

The Saints cannot afford to spend a ton of money on a WR this offseason. They are projected to be more than $50 million over the salary cap entering 2022. However, they also badly need to add a WR that can build a solid rapport with whoever is under center. That need becomes more urgent if Michael Thomas departs this offseason.

For that reason, the Saints are an intriguing potential landing spot for Washington. The Steelers WR comes with intriguing upside and has been used in a variety of ways. It would be fascinating to see if Sean Payton and the Saints could get the best out of a player many believe to be extremely talented.

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