If there’s one wide receiver who is still getting plenty of looks on the NFL free agent market to sign it’s that of Steelers pass catcher JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Coming off a season in which he caught 97 passes for 831 yards and nine scores, the pass catcher made it known to anyone that would listen that he’d like to stay in Pittsburgh, but it feels like the Steelers are not all that interested.
So if Smith-Schuster isn’t going to go back to where he was drafted, where will he end up in free agency?
One team that has shown interest is that of the New York Jets. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network states that the Jets and Smith-Schuster have spoken, and that he is the “one to watch” when it comes to the Jets potentially adding a playmaking receiver to the mix.
The Jets still don’t have an answer to what they will do at the QB spot for 2021, but they’ve already talked free agent Corey Davis to leave Tennessee and ink with them, and now they are trying to do the same with Smith-Schuster.
There’s no doubt that the Jets are all in with a new coach in Robert Saleh, but right now the team really needs to figure out who is going to play quarterback and get these playmakers the ball.
Darnold has tried the last few years, but going 13-25 just isn’t enough to get it done for the Jets or any team for that matter.
If the Jets scrap Darnold for a rookie quarterback that they take in the draft, that’s a stretch that some experienced very good pass catchers are going to have great success with a rookie QB.
Usually it take awhile for young quarterbacks to develop a rep with good, veteran wide outs, and while they already talked Davis into coming to New York, it will be interesting to see if they can do the same with Smith-Schuster, who has been catching passes from Ben Roethlisberger for the most part.
In four seasons with the Steelers, Smith-Schuster has 308 catches for 3726 yards and 26 touchdowns. Pittsburgh has been their usual patient self when it comes to signing players, so it comes as no surprise they wouldn’t bring back Smith-Schuster.