Although the Giants have received somewhat surprising production from a largely unknown cast of wide receivers, the resurgent team is not heading into the playoffs with much of note at that position. That situation has persisted for most of this season.
The team brought in a veteran for potential help Wednesday morning. After a workout, the Giants are signing James Washington, Aaron Wilson of KPRC tweets. The Cowboys waived the former second-round pick recently.
This is a practice squad agreement, but Washington will join a team that has relied on the likes of Isaiah Hodgins and Richie James complementing Darius Slayton for much of the year. It will be interesting to see if the Giants, who have seen some in-season additions play big roles for them under Brian Daboll, make a move to bump the former Steelers target up to their active roster.
Both Jaylon Smith and Fabian Moreau have played key roles for the Giants on defense, despite neither being with the team at the start of the season. Ditto Landon Collins, who reunited with his original NFL team early in the year. Collins has become a more integral piece for the rebuilding team down the stretch. Both Moreau and Collins came to the Giants as practice squad players. Hodgins also did not start the season with the team, being claimed off waivers from the Bills midway through the season.
Washington, 26, was unable to carve out a role in Dallas. A broken foot harpooned the former Oklahoma State standout’s season. Following the training camp injury, Washington did not make his debut until Week 14. He ended up playing in just two games (15 total offensive snaps) for the Cowboys, who signed T.Y. Hilton after an extensive Odell Beckham Jr. flirtation. The latter also visited the Giants, who have changed up their receiving situation since Week 1.
Hodgins and James are playing major roles because of injuries to Sterling Shepard and Wan’Dale Robinson and an October trade of Kadarius Toney. Although Kenny Golladay scored a touchdown against the Eagles, the former Lions Pro Bowler has been a massive disappointment as a Giant. They will kick the tires on Washington, who does have a 700-plus-yard receiving season — back in 2019, when college teammate Mason Rudolph was mainly the one throwing passes his way — on his resume. He also scored five touchdowns in 2020. The Steelers minimized Washington’s role during the second half of his rookie contract, however, leading to the low-cost Cowboys deal.