(Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
Free agency starts on March 17 and speculation continues to build on who goes where. Seth Galina of ESPN released an article today of the perfect free-agent matches for all 32 NFL teams.
The Steelers don't have much cap space and JuJu Smith-Schuster will command $16 million or more per year in free agency. Given the circumstances, Smith-Schuster most likely won't be in the black and gold next year. However, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN believes that Smith-Schuster returning to the Steelers "isn't off the table." Fowler thinks the Steelers will let Smith-Schuster explore free agency and then possibly come over the top of the offer.
Galina has the Cardinals as a perfect match for Smith-Schuster in free agency. According to Overthecap.com, the Cardinals are $11.1 million over the cap, so they don't have a boatload of cap space, but they're not in as bad of shape as some other teams.
Smith-Schuster would be a great No. 2 to DeAndre Hopkins and would be mentored by the future Hall of Famer in Larry Fitzgerald. He also would have a young uprising quarterback in Kyler Murray throwing him the ball.
Below is a short summary on why Galina thinks Smith-Schuster would be a fit for the Cardinals.
"The Cardinals need someone who can work the middle of the field to take some heat off No. 1 wideout DeAndre Hopkins. And that's what JuJu's game is: the underneath middle of the field.
His game fell off a bit in 2020, and it remains to be seen whether he can be a true No. 1 receiver, but the beauty is that he won't have to be the top guy in Arizona. Smith-Schuster posted an 81.8 PFF grade as Antonio Brown's understudy in Pittsburgh in 2018, but that number fell to 63.1 in 2019 and 70.0 in 2020. Becoming a secondary option again might do wonders for both JuJu and the Cardinals in the make-or-break year for the Kliff Kingsbury era."
In four years with the Steelers, Smith-Schuster had 308 receptions for 3,726 yards (12.1 average) and 26 touchdowns.