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

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.