The source said that Washington, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal, is unhappy with his limited playing time last season and so far this preseason.
Washington, 25, saw his production dwindle last season. He played just 486 snaps (44%) in 2020 after seeing action on 634 snaps (64%) in 2019. His on-field production took a corresponding hit, with him recording just 392 yards and five TDs last season as compared with 735 yards and three scores in 2019.
He was targeted twice in Thursday’s Hall of Fame Game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Last season, Ben Roethlisberger even campaigned to get Washington on the field more often as his snap counts decreased in the second half of the season.
“James Washington is a guy that is getting on the field and needs to get on the field more,” Roethlisberger said in December. “But it’s not because anybody’s not doing good. It’s just because he’s a player that can make plays. We always talk about guys staying fresh. We need to rotate guys, get him on the field, because he’s hungry, wants to be out there and make plays for us.”
He has primarily been an underrated deep-threat option in the Steelers’ offense and figured to have a bigger role in coordinator Matt Canada’s offense with Canada’s constant rotation of receivers.