Updated: May 23
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Back in March, JuJu Smith-Schuster decided to re-sign with the Steelers on a one-year prove-it deal instead of signing with the Chiefs or Ravens, who were offering more money, albeit they were offering one-year deals, as well.
The wide receivers market wasn't as robust in free agency as many expected due to the salary cap being down almost $16 million because of the lost revenue related to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, it made sense for Smith-Schuster to come back to a team and quarterback that he's familiar with and bet on himself.
Smith-Schuster has made the media rounds over the last few weeks and his most recent interview was with Adam Lefkoe of Bleacher Report, and he had an interesting comment about a former teammate who famously pulled a Benedict Arnold against the Steelers.
“The most disrespectful thing is, ‘Hey, like, I’m James Harrison. Lemme go to the Patriots.’ You lose that strong fanbase,” Smith-Schuster said on deciding to re-sign with the Steelers instead of going to a division rival like the Ravens.
While I'm sure a lot of Steelers fans would have been disappointed if Smith-Schuster signed with the Ravens, I don't think it would have been as bad as the Harrison situation. Smith-Schuster was a free agent and had to do what was best for him business-wise. I guess you can say the same for Harrison, but the way he went about it, essentially forcing himself off the team because of a lack of playing time and signing with the Patriots, certainly didn't sit well with players on the team and Steelers fans. Harrison signed with the Patriots a few weeks after the "Jesse James Caught It" game as well, so emotions were even more intense.