News broke Monday afternoon that the Redskins want to trade fourth-year receiver Josh Doctson in advance of Saturday’s roster cutdowns. 

That news, from The Athletic DC, makes sense. After all the Redskins have been trying to trade Doctson for the past two seasons, as NBC Sports Washington has documented for some time. 

There were conversations about moving the former first-round pick last year at the trade deadline. 

There were conversations about trading Doctson last year during training camp in Richmond. 

There were even conversations about trading Doctson two seasons ago, after a very disappointing and bizarre rookie season where he hardly played. 

Keep this in mind with Doctson: Former general manager Scot McCloughan drafted him 22nd overall in 2016 out of TCU, but according to sources, there was hardly consensus about the first-round selection in the Washington war room. In fact, the Redskins were hard set on taking Alabama center Ryan Kelly in that draft, and when he went 18th to Indianapolis, McCloughan moved back one spot to get additional time and figure out the next move. 

That move ended up being Doctson, who has never produced like a first-round pick with the Redskins. He’s dealt with injuries, and quietly has played through a good deal of pain the last few years. 

Still, this is a WR without a 100-yard game in three seasons. 

When the Redskins decided not to exercise the fifth-year option on Doctson’s rookie deal earlier this offseason, the writing was on the wall. McCloughan was always Doctson’s biggest supporter in the Redskins organization, and the team fired him the former GM in 2017. 


Teams almost always use the fifth-year option on first-round rookie deals. When they don’t, it’s because that player is not part of the organizations long-term plans anymore. 

With Doctson, that means more trade talks will happen. As one team source explained last year at the trade deadline, there are always lots of phone calls, but that doesn’t mean a deal will get done. 

Washington is in a different spot this year with Doctson than the last few years. He has undeniable physical talent, and the team doesn’t want to give up on that. 

The Redskins also added two rookie wideouts this year in the draft in Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon, and combined with a number of second year players like Trey Quinn and Cam Sims to go with established starter Paul Richardson, Doctson looks more expendable than ever. 

And there’s the added reality - If Doctson isn’t in the cards for 2020, why wait around in 2019?

All of that said, he could still help this fall. And that’s why the team doesn’t want to outright release him on Saturday when rosters drop from 90 players to 53. 

Multiple league sources have suggested that eventually, Doctson will play well, and that it will probably happen if/when he ends up with one of the NFL’s two Texas franchises, the Texans or the Cowboys. Doctson is a Texas native and played his best college football after he transferred from Wyoming back to TCU. 

That might be overly simplistic, but people believe it. Besides a fresh start with fewer expectations might be just what Doctson needs. 

Whether that happens by Saturday remains to be seen. 

Washington might want to move Doctson, but will they get the right price for the right suitor? Hard to know. 

There is plenty of smoke to believe the Redskins might release Doctson, and if that’s true, would a team give up an asset to get him, even if it’s only a late-round pick? 

It’s also entirely possible the Redskins keep seven wideouts on their final 53, and that could mean a spot for Doctson and a special teams maven like Robert Davis or Jesu Chesson. 

Nothing has been simple between the Redskins and Doctson, going back to the night he was drafted. There’s no reason to think that will change now.