James Washington: I love Pittsburgh

USA TODAY Sports

A report earlier this month indicated James Washington requested a trade. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin then denied Washington requested a trade.

On Wednesday, Washington spoke to the media for the first time since then, and he wasn’t saying whether he approached the team about a trade.

“That’s a private conversation,” Washington said, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN. “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.”

Washington did admit he has approached coaches about being more involved in the offense.

“It’s been talked about,” he said.

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. But offensive coordinator Matt Canada has said he anticipates a “good role” for Washington in the offense.

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