Anthony Richardson is getting another weapon in former Steelers second-round pick James Washington. Washington signed with the Colts on Friday, three days after he was released by the New Orleans Saints.
In a corresponding move, the Colts placed linebacker Genard Avery on injured reserve and waived-injured wideout Malik Turner. Avery, who spent last season with the Buccaneers, recently suffered a season-ending knee injury. Turner, who spent the 2022 season with the 49ers, was fighting for a roster spot prior to getting injured.
Washington spent his first four seasons with the Steelers before signing with the Cowboys last offseason. He spent the majority of his only season with the Cowboys on injured reserve after he broke his foot during training camp. After playing in just two games for the Cowboys, Washington was released by Dallas on Dec. 10 after the team signed T.Y. Hilton.
A week after being released by the Cowboys, Washington was added to the Giants' practice squad ahead of New York's wild card playoff win over the Minnesota Vikings. Washington did not appear in either of the Giants' playoff games. He spent three months with the Saints this offseason after his contract with the Giants expired.
The Colts also signed free agent wide receiver D.J. Montgomery, who spent time with the Michigan Panthers of the USFL and was on the Texans' practice squad last season.
Selected by the Steelers with the 60th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Washington showed flashes of his potential in Pittsburgh, but found that targets within the Steelers' stacked receiving corps were tough to come by. His career high in targets in Pittsburgh (44) came during the 2019 season, a year when Mason Rudolph -- Washington's college quarterback at Oklahoma State -- started more than half of the Steelers games following Ben Roethlisberger's season-ending injury.
Despite the lack of targets, Washington caught 114 passes and 11 touchdowns during his four years in Pittsburgh. He averaged an impressive 14.3 yards per catch that included a career-high 16.7 yards per reception during the '19 season. He caught a career-high five touchdowns in 2020 while helping the Steelers capture the AFC North division title.
A native of Stamford, Texas, Washington enjoyed a standout college career at Oklahoma State. During his four years with those Cowboys, the 6-foot receiver caught 226 passes for 4,472 yards and 39 touchdowns. He won the Biletnikoff Award (given annually to the best college receiver in Division I) in 2017 after catching 74 passes for 1,549 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Washington will now look to contribute to a Colts offense that includes Richardson and fellow wideouts Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce. The Indianapolis offense also features Jonathan Taylor, who has been mired in a contract dispute with the team while at the same time recovering from an injury.