Redskins wide receiver Josh Morgan wants to return to his hometown team next season but acknowledged on Thursday that he doesn’t know whether the feeling is mutual after his role was significantly reduced in 2013.
“This is my hometown," he said. "This is my community. My family is here. My friends are here. This is the team I grew up rooting for.”
Asked whether he believes there's a realistic chance of that happening, Morgan shrugged. He’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next month.
“I’m not sure,” he said, speaking before a community outreach event in Gaithersburg, where he was scheduled to deliver books and read to elementary school students. “We all know what happened last year with Coach [Mike] Shanahan and myself, and [me] not being able to show my talents. I’m sure when it comes down to business side of it, they are probably going to say things like, ‘He didn’t put up the numbers we thought he would.’ But we all know Coach Shanahan didn’t allow me to put up …numbers.”
Morgan was the Redskins’ leading receiver in 2012, hauling in 48 passes for 510 yards. Last season, though, was a difficult one for the 28-year-old D.C. native as he fell out of favor with Shanahan. Twice, in fact, Morgan was deactivated and he finished with only 20 receptions for 214 yards and no touchdowns.
Morgan maintained that he’s never received an explanation from Shanahan about his reduced role.
“Never did,” he said. “Don’t even expect one. I’m just hoping that if I’m here, or wherever I am next year, that I’m still playing football and getting the opportunity to show my talents before I get too old.”
Morgan said he has not met Jay Gruden, the Redskins’ new coach, but added that he hopes Gruden will give him the chance to prove that he can contribute in 2014.
“I’m very hopeful,” Morgan said. “But, at the end of the day, it’s just hope. This is business. Like what happened with the team last year, if you’re not winning, changes are going to be made. From what I’ve learned so far about this business, it’s about leverage. They are going to use whatever leverage they can. They don’t care about whether I got along with Coach Shanahan or not.”
Asked how he deals with the uncertainty, Morgan added: “You don’t really worry about who you are going to play for. You pray to God to put you in the best situation, put you where he wants you to be. My job? I just stay in shape, keep having fun with it and never let nobody like the Shanahans steal my joy.”