The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to try and fill the void left by JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency this offseason. With Antonio Brown likely leaving, it’s uncertain how much of a role he will have with the team next season. The run game is another huge question mark for now as well.
The “JuJu Smith-Schuster” is a wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2017 NFL Draft and has been a pro bowl player in his first two seasons with the team. However, due to an off-the-field incident, he will not be playing for them anymore. This article talks about why that is possible and what it means for both parties involved. Read more in detail here: where did juju smith-schuster go to college.
In the NFL offseason of 2022, the Pittsburgh Steelers will have a lot of important choices to make. The decision on what to do with wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster will be at the top of the list. The fifth-year wideout will become a free agent once again. The Steelers’ general management, on the other hand, should seriously consider moving on from Smith-Schuster this time.
JuJu Smith-Schuster will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.
After being picked in 2017, JuJu Smith-Schuster spent the first five seasons of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The second-round pick looks to be loyal to the team that handed him his first NFL opportunity.
After the 2020 season, Smith-Schuster became a free agent. The Baltimore Ravens and Chiefs of Kansas City, both in the AFC, sought to recruit him away from Pittsburgh. Smith-Schuster was even offered more money by both teams than the Steelers were ready to pay him.
Despite this, the USC product turned down his suitors. On a one-year, $8 million deal, he chose to return to Pittsburgh.
Mike Tomlin must have been relieved to see Smith-Schuster return rather than join another AFC contender. However, the wideout’s 2021 season hasn’t gone as planned.
The Long Beach, California native went on injured reserve after suffering a shoulder injury in Week 5 that held him out for the remainder of the regular season. According to ESPN, the organization has given Smith-Schuster a 21-day window to return.
The wide receiver’s status for the wild-card game against the Chiefs of Kansas City is unknown.
Why the Steelers don’t need to keep him beyond the 2022 season
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster in action against the Detroit Lions | Joe Sargent/Getty Images
JuJu Smith-tenure Schuster’s with the Pittsburgh Steelers might be coming to an end, regardless of whether he plays against the Chiefs of Kansas City.
The Steelers’ front management was ecstatic to bring in a guy like Smith-Schuster. At USC, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound wideout had a great career. His abilities rapidly transferred to the professional level, and he quickly established a connection with Ben Roethlisberger.
During his first two NFL seasons, the former Trojans great had 169 catches, 2,343 receiving yards, and 14 touchdowns. In 2017, he was named to the All-Rookie Team, and the next year, he was named to the Pro Bowl.
After the Steelers parted company with Antonio Brown at the end of last season, the young receiver was given the opportunity to take over as the team’s No. 1 receiver. The stakes were high, but Smith-Schuster didn’t live up to them. He hasn’t thrown for 1,000 yards since 2018. In 2020, he did catch nine touchdowns, but that number doesn’t tell the whole tale.
Smith-Schuster has only caught 15 catches for 129 yards and zero touchdowns before to his injury in Week 5. The lack of productivity in recent seasons has been troubling.
Despite his injury, the 25-year-old seems to be Pittsburgh’s No. 3 receiver behind Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool. Smith-Schuster may not be worth bringing back in 2022. James Washington will be a free agent as well, and his price should be far lower.
Possible destinations for the former Pro Bowl wide receiver
It’s Week 18, the game isn’t close, and the Eagles can finally give their backups and all the wide outs they’ve squandered expensive draft selections on some playing time.
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) January 9, 2022
Several clubs will certainly be lined up for JuJu Smith-services Schuster’s if the Pittsburgh Steelers decide to release him in free agency. He’s just 25 years old, so there’s still time for him to mature. However, a change of scenery may be required.
Assume the former Pro Bowler isn’t playing for the Steelers in 2022. Where could he possibly land? A few teams that could be interested are listed below.
- Chiefs of Kansas City
- Eagles of Philadelphia
- Chargers of Los Angeles
- Patriots of New England
Andy Reid and the Chiefs are likely to leap at the chance to sign Smith-Schuster. He turned them down last summer, but he’ll have the opportunity to play with Patrick Mahomes this season. He wouldn’t have to deal with the pressure of being the best choice (or No. 2, for that matter).
Young quarterbacks like those on the Eagles, Chargers, and Patriots can never have enough weapons.
Outside of DeVonta Smith, the Eagles have had a string of dismal luck with receivers. For the Los Angeles Rams, Smith-Schuster would be a luxury, but he might flourish collecting throws from Justin Herbert. The Patriots don’t have a reliable wide receiver. He may perhaps be that for Mac Jones.
JuJu Smith-Schuster might stay with the Steelers in 2022, but it wouldn’t be strange to see him elsewhere.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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The “juju smith-schuster stats” is a blog post written by the Pittsburgh Steelers’ beat writer that discusses why the team can afford to move on from JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency.
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