JuJu Smith-Schuster ‘Unlikely’ To Actually Accept What Steelers Can Offer

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Free-agent-to-be JuJu Smith-Schuster has said he wants to remain with the Pittsburgh Steelers. And that’s nice. But it may not be reality, according to Bob Labriola of Steelers.com.

“Smith-Schuster is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 17, and despite his pronouncements on social media that he wants to continue his career with the Steelers, he’s unlikely to want to accept what the cap-strapped Steelers would be able to pay him on a new contract,” Labriola wrote.

It’s important to remember that Labriola writes for the team’s official website. So it’s interesting this particular paragraph was approved by those who edit the team’s official website.

But maybe the Steelers know it’s true. They really are “cash-strapped” heading into free agency. They also may not want to offer Smith-Schuster what he’s seeking in free agency.

He talked a good game last season but became less-prized than Chase Claypool and Dionte Johnson in the Steelers’ pecking order of receivers.

Overall, Smith-Schuster undoubtedly has the ability to be a team’s No. 2 man. But he’s no No. 1, and the Steelers sure don’t have the ability to pay him as such. Someone might though, especially someone that has the extra cash and could use a player who has been in a winning environment.

But the Steelers appear to be a team in transition after their 11-0 start turned into a first-round playoff exit against the rival Cleveland Browns. That came after Smith-Schuster dismissed them, saying “the Browns is the Browns,” implying that the opponent was nothing special.

Yeah, good move.

But the bottom line on Smith-Schuster is he is a reliable piece that would be missed in Pittsburgh, but a piece that could be replaced and fairly quickly. You can be sure the Steelers will keep that in mind when deciding what to do about Smith-Schuster in free agency.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.


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  1. i grew up rooting for Bradshaw and the steel curtain, but steeler nation has an arrogance that needs to be humbled. maybe a steeler rebuild is coming. big ben should just ask for a release. butt they can’t release him now.

    i’ve watched that team develop talent and let it go almost every year. Ben has been hiding the steelers arrogance with hof type play. he still throws a tight accurate ball, but thats all they have.

    DONE very done

  2. JuJu: Ferrari frame with a Dodge Neon engine. Got outplayed a rook & a 2nd yr WR, yet wants to be perceived (and paid) as a #1 WR…HA! I had high hopes for him, but instead of staying humble and building on that 2018 season, he wants to be (to paraphrase Suge Knight) “ALL IN THE VIDEOS, ALL ON THE TIKTOK, DANCIN’!” and being a helmet and cleated-up thot.

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