Updated: Mar 19, 2021
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
JuJu Smith-Schuster is staying in the Steel City after all, as he announced that he'll be coming back on Twitter today via the famous scene from "The Wolf of Wall Street" when Leonardo DiCaprio yelled, "I'm not leaving!"
Smith-Schuster tweeted, "This is my home, they're gonna need a wrecking ball to take me outta here! PITTSBURGH I LOVE YOU, LET’S GO!!!!!"
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Smith-Schuster signed a 1-year, $8 million deal with the Steelers even though the rival Ravens offered a 1-year, $13 million deal.
Smith-Schuster also turned down more money on a multi-year deal from the Eagles to come back to Pittsburgh, per Adam Schefter of ESPN. The Chiefs also offered a one-year, $8 million deal with $3 million in incentives, according to Taylor Biscotti of the NFL Network.
In another tweet, Smith-Schuster expressed how he's ecstatic to play at least one more season in the black and gold. "Can’t say it enough, I love you Pittsburgh. Came in here a young 20 year old and you guys embraced me from the moment I got here. So much love. Had my back thru everything, all the struggles and success. So hard to leave. See you this Fall in Heinz WE’RE GOIN CRAZY!!!"
Due to the salary cap being down almost $16 million from last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and this year's wide receiver draft class being loaded, teams were not giving out big contracts to the high-end free-agent receivers. The most they would go it seemed was $12 million. And a lot of wide receivers are signing one-year prove-it deals and then try to cash in next year when the cap is expected to be north of $210 million because of the mega TV deal that the league agreed to yesterday with the networks.
It was a no-brainer for Smith-Schuster to return to Pittsburgh on a one-year deal, as the wide receiver market in free agency was unexpectedly really dry. He also gets to play another year with his quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, which I'm sure the future Hall of Famer is thrilled about. Roethlisberger reportedly told the Steelers following the season that he would like Smith-Schuster to return. On March 4, Roethlisberger took a $5 million pay cut to free up more than $15 million in cap space to help the team.
We knew Smith-Schuster would be receiving a one-year, $8 million deal, but we know the structure of the contract.
According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, Smith-Schuster's one-year contract with the Steelers includes a $7 million signing bonus, a $1 million base salary and four voidable years. Smith-Schuster's cap number is just $2.4 million this year, per Ian Whetstone of Steel City Insider.
In 58 career games with the Steelers, Smith-Schuster has recorded 308 receptions for 3,726 yards (12.1 average) and 26 touchdowns.