March 17th is the deadline for the Pittsburgh Steelers to sign their free agents to a new contract or they will become an unrestricted free agent. That means those players will be able to test the market and see what their worth really is. It seems like Bud Dupree and JuJu Smith-Schuster are going to be overpaid in the offseason, but the Steelers should start communicating with JuJu to see if he will work with them.
JuJu said he would like to play the rest of his career in Pittsburgh. He also said that he wishes he could get a new contract with the Steelers this offseason as well. Yesterday JuJu said 'let's talk.' Clearly, the Steelers have not been communicating with JuJu yet. In my opinion, that should have changed the moment they renegotiated Ben Roethlisberger's contract. I would not let JuJu try and test free agency. The best thing the Steelers can do right now is try to lock up JuJu before he can test free agency.
The ball has been thrown in the Steeler's court so now it would be best for the Steelers to put his words to the test by throwing it back into his court. If JuJu is truly honest with his words about wanting to come back to the Steelers he would negotiate with the Steelers on a fair contract. He knows the Steelers are hurting with cap space so why not sign a friendly deal? I would sign JuJu to a 2-year deal and pay most of it as a bonus. Give him some guaranteed money to make the deal seem sweeter. If he doesn't want to sign then let him test free agency. It would not hurt to try and see where JuJu is at in this moment before free agency opens.