When the Redskins selected wide receiver Josh Doctson No. 22 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, they expected the Texas Christian University product to turn into a reliable NFL wide receiver.

It's no secret that Doctson's production through his first three seasons in the NFL has fallen short of the Redskins' expectations. 

So it was no surprise that the Redskins chose not to pick up Doctson's fifth-year option, meaning the 26-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent at the 2019 seasons end.

While the Redskins have not ruled out potentially re-signing the fourth-year receiver, all signs point towards 2019 being Doctson's last season in the Burgundy and Gold.

"I think I'm hitting free agency next year," Doctson told ESPN's John Keim. "I won't be the first, won't be the last. It's nothing to be sad about, be mad about. Someone wants you there, so it's all love."

After injuries prevented Doctson from having any major impact as a rookie (he appeared in just two games, catching two passes for 66 yards), Doctson has only missed one game in the past two seasons. He's dealt with his share of injuries, but has been unable to establish himself as a solid NFL receiver. In the past two seasons, he's caught a total of 79 receptions for 1,034 yards and eight touchdowns, numbers that would be impressive had they been over the course of one season, not two.

The Redskins have addressed the receiver group significantly over the past two seasons. They signed Paul Richardson to a five-year deal in 2018, and have drafted three wide receivers -- Trey Quinn, Trey McLaurin, Kelvin Harmon -- in the past two years. All four of those receivers are expected to have an impact on the Redskins offense in 2019. Additionally, tight ends Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis, as well as running back Chris Thompson are also expected to be major pieces to the Redskins' aerial attack.


Doctson has a lot to prove as he enters his first contract year, not just to the Redskins but the entire league. Despite knowing there will be a lot of competition for playing time, he's not worried. He doesn't feel any extra motivation by the Redskins declining to pick up his fifth-year option, either.

"No, because that would mean it would have gotten to me and I'd feel some type of way. There's no motivation," he told Keim. "I'm not trying to prove nothing to nobody. Just trying to get chemistry with the quarterbacks."

While the main storyline throughout training camp will be about the quarterback competition between veteran Case Keenum and rookie Dwayne Haskins, it's worth paying attention to Doctson as he gears up for the most important season of his career.