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James Washington didn't go out of his way to deny the report that he requested a trade

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Nearly two weeks ago, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that James Washington approached the Steelers and requested a trade based on his limited playtime last season and in the Hall of Fame Game.

When Mike Tomlin was asked about the reported trade request from Washington, he refuted the report.

"He has not. Those unnamed sources we don’t react to or respond to. James has been great here and working and having a good camp," Tomlin said.

After practice on Wednesday, Washington was asked about the Schefter report that he requested a trade, and he didn't go out of his way to deny the rumor.

"That's a little private conversation," Washington said via Teresa Varley of "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 and laughing around, playing the sport that I love and continuing to play the sport that I love and just enjoying life."

Washington's response was pretty suspect, and it suggests that he did request a trade, or at the very least, wasn't happy with his usage in the Steelers offense. If he didn't request a trade, you think he would have just said, "Yeah, that was a false report."

Nevertheless, Washington says he's just continuing to work on his craft so he can help the Steelers win games in 2021. However, if things falter for Washington during the season. I wouldn't be surprised if a trade request resurfaces.

"I just want to compete and help the team win," Washington said. "It gives me that drive to want to get out there and put my hand in the pile and just help the team to victory.

"Continue to show my strength and improve my weaknesses. Just keeping it on their minds that this is what I am good at and show I am trying to improve in other areas as well."

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