Sunday in a win at Jacksonville, Nate Washington showed he’s very much part of the present. He pulled in six catches for 117 yards and the game-winning touchdown.
He’s the team’s third leading receiver with 56 receptions, and second in receiving yards with 880.
When the head of the team’s new ownership group, Tommy Smith, listed some young players he considers the Titans’ core, he also mentioned Washington and his leadership.
Washington has been an important influence on Wright and Hunter.
“It’s brothers, man,” Washington said of the receivers room. "It’s a room that I think the organization has been working to put together for a long time. I think they can really sit down right now with our room and be satisfied with all the hard work they’ve put in.”
Washington would certainly like to see things kept intact next season, though Kenny Britt is heading for free agency and certainly won’t be back. He’s hardly contributed this season. Damian Williams is also in line to be a free agent, and he’s a versatile piece I believe the team should try hard to keep.
Whether the Titans make a coaching change or not, there is potential they could choose to move away from Washington, who is 30. Heading into the final year of his deal, he’s due $4.8 million in 2014. It would be the final year of a six-year deal, and it’s pretty rare for a player to play out a long second deal with high cap numbers.
If they came to him and said they wanted to keep him at a reduced price, he wouldn’t be upset, but he wouldn’t negotiate either, he said.
“All I can do is play football,” he said. “If I’m in Tennessee next year, I will be very gracious. I love Tennessee, I love the people, I love the organization. If I’m here next year it’d be awesome. But I understand it’s a business ..."
If they wanted to reduce his salary?
“It’s time to move on, man,” he said. “If that’s the way they have to approach it, I understand.”
I agree with Washington that the receivers room is one of the best things the Titans have going for them. He has a big salary scheduled, but the team is not in line to be cap-strapped. If they are going to overpay someone, why not him? Yes, you want to get rid of a guy a year too early rather than a year too late, but I wouldn’t mess with a position where things seem to be in good order.