Josh Doctson simply hasn't caught on with the Redskins just yet.
Based on his limited production, the wideout received some unsurprising news Wednesday afternoon.
Doctson remains on the 2019 roster, but Wednesday’s move means the Redskins declined his $10.2 million contract for 2020.
Teams had until Friday to determine whether to pick up the fifth-year option for 2016 first-round picks.
That dollar figure doesn’t scream go-to receiver, but it’s a number that demands a certain level of production and consistency, the kind Doctson has yet to demonstrate during three largely frustrating seasons. It’s why the Redskins had little choice but to pass on definitively keeping the pass catcher beyond this season.
The 22nd overall selection in 2016, Doctson has combined for 81 receptions, 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns in his young career. Those numbers are in line with what a Pro Bowl caliber target posts in a single season. Doctson set a career-high with 532 yards receiving last season.
Struggles began for the Texas Christian University product almost immediately upon joining the Redskins. He injured his left Achilles tendon during rookie minicamp in May 2016, and proceeded to miss training camp and the preseason. Doctson played in only two games before landing on injured reserve in October.
He only missed one game over the next two seasons, but rarely made a significant impact. Doctson, the final first-round selection during the two-year run under former general manager Scot McCloughan, has yet to reach 100 receiving yards in a single game.
Here’s some irony: despite Doctson’s struggles, he’s arguably the top receiver on the team’s depth chart following the just concluded NFL Draft. That observation says more about the other options, many of which are simply unproven.
Paul Richardson, the other starter in standard two-receiver sets, provides the offense speed. However, Richardson is expected to miss the start of training camp while recovering from a fractured clavicle.
The Redskins spent a third-round pick last week on Ohio State’s Terry McLaurin. Rising second-year receiver Trey Quinn, the final overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, is the favorite to replace Jamison Crowder in the slot. Holdovers Cam Sims, Jehu Chesson and Darvin Kidsy along with 2019 sixth-round pick Kelvin Harmon are among those expected to battle for the final receiver slots. These receivers have a combined 11 NFL receptions.
Doctson, 26, remains in the prime years of his career. Perhaps he develops strong chemistry with new quarterbacks Case Keenum or first-round selection Dwayne Haskins. Some players step up heading into a contract year. Doctson doing so could have the front office circling back for a new round of contract talks at some point.
For now, they made their call. Based on Doctson’s production and his 2020 contract terms, it's right on target.
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