Although it would appear that the Dallas Cowboys do not have any holes in its wide receiver corps, one of the team’s previous weapons is currently available via free agency after being cut by the New Orleans Saints. James Washington, a wide receiver who has had trouble finding consistent ground over the previous two years, has announced his intention to leave the team as a result of this development.
On August 15, the Saints made the announcement that they would no longer be using Washington, concurrently with the signing of running back Darrel Williams.
According to the team’s official website, today the New Orleans Saints made the following announcements: “The New Orleans Saints announced that they have signed free agent running back Darrel Williams and that they have terminated the contract of wide receiver James Washington.”
After spending what might be termed a terrible year with the Cowboys and then going on to play for the New York Giants in 2022, Washington signed with the Saints in free agency during the offseason that just ended. Even after getting cut in the middle of training camp, the former wide receiver for the Steelers has not been able to find a team that will keep him around for the long haul following his departure from Pittsburgh, and it appears that he will have to continue looking.
Washington Finding Next Step in NFL Career
There is no doubt that Washington is capable of performing at the National Football League level; but, a challenging conclusion to his time with the Steelers, his time spent with the Cowboys, and now his release by the Saints give the impression that it has been quite some time since his stock has been increasing rather than decreasing.
When Washington first started out in the NFL, he was with Pittsburgh, and he had an immediate impact there. After being selected in the second round of the NFL draft in 2018 and playing a relatively insignificant role for the Steelers in his rookie year, Washington emerged as one of the team’s most important offensive weapons in 2019.
The former Oklahoma State standout racked up a total of 735 receiving yards thanks to his 44 receptions, as indicated by Pro Football Reference. The explosive nature of his game was demonstrated by the average of 16.7 yards per reception, but in the years following then, he has not been able to equal that figure.
At that time, the Steelers possessed a wide receiver group that included JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson. Johnson had climbed higher on the depth chart than Washington at that point. Because of this, Washington’s output declined during 2020 and 2021, with his final season being his least productive since his rookie year (24 receptions, 285 receiving yards, and 2 touchdowns).
Washington, feeling the need for a change of environment, joined the Cowboys during the offseason prior to the previous season. However, he was forced to sit out the first 12 games of the 2022 season since he broke his foot before the season began. This was a major setback for him. By the last week of the season, Washington had been cut loose, and the Giants had taken him on as a free agent. After they were eliminated from the playoffs in the divisional round, they waited another ten days before releasing him.
Washington Owns Ranch in Cowboys Territory
A native of Stamford, Texas, Washington had spent his high school career playing football in the state of Texas, therefore his signing with the Cowboys signified a return to his home state for the state of Texas. According to a story by Todd Archer of ESPN from March 2022, after reaching the NFL level of success, Washington actually purchased a 40-acre ranch in the Merkel region.
In an interview with the official website of the Dallas Cowboys, Washington discussed the “ranch life” and the positive aspects of signing with the Cowboys, including the opportunity to return to Texas.
“I try to get in a workout somewhere between eight and nine in the morning. Please come back and check on everything, as well as feed the horses and cows. According to a report written by a Fox Sports Cowboys reporter named David Helman, Washington said in March 2022, “Make sure everything’s good.” “Go back and exercise in the afternoon, between the hours of 3:30 and 5:30. When I go home, if I have a little more time, I’ll sometimes rope, and on the weekends, I’ll sometimes rope as well. Please come back so that the cattle can be docked, the horses can have another checkup, and everything can be fed. Aside from that, I spend most of my time at home with my wife and hanging around here. Simply living the ranch life in the middle of nowhere and loving every minute of it.