JuJu Smith-Schuster says he probably makes over $2 million off of marketing

(Photo by Kohjiro Kinno/Getty Images)

JuJu Smith-Schuster is one of the most popular players in the NFL, but at the same time, he's also a polarizing figure for his off-the-field activities, which makes some believe that he's not fully focused on football at times.

Smith-Schuster is a social media influencer and has a fun-loving personality, which attracts plenty of branding and marketing opportunities for himself.

Smith-Schuster said on The Michael Irvin Podcast” recently that he has NFL players hit him up all the time and ask how do you do marketing?

"I started TikTok, you know, TikTok's always been a huge thing," Smith-Schuster said. "I make a lot of money off of marketing. I'll probably say that I make over $2 million off of marketing because of who I am, and that's off-the-field stuff."

This past season, Smith-Schuster got a lot of criticism for his pregame TikTok dance on opposing teams' logos. It all started in Week 9 against the Cowboys, as he danced on the star at the 50-yard line pregame. His dance didn't become an issue until the Steelers lost to the Bills in Week 14. It was just their second loss of the season. Bills players after the game said they thought what Smith-Schuster did by dancing on their logo was disrespectful and it gave them extra motivation.

Smith-Schuster did it again the following week against the Bengals, and this time the media had the cameras on him before the game. It was becoming a bigger story than it needed to be. The Steelers got upset by the Bengals 27-17 and Smith-Schuster did not have a good game. Late in the first quarter, he took a big hit from Bengals' strong safety Vonn Bell that caused him to fumble the ball and Cincinnati recovered. The Bengals capitalized off the turnover and drove 38 yards down the field and scored a touchdown to take a 10-0 lead. Smith-Schuster had just three receptions for 15 yards in the loss to Cincinnati. Mike Tomlin met with Smith-Schuster a few days later and told him to stop doing the TikTok dance, as it was becoming too much of a distraction to the team.

"They weren't saying anything when I was dancing on the Cowboys logo and then I go ball out and score a touchdown, all that. Everyone is happy, everyone is cool," Smith-Schuster told Irvin about the criticism he received from the media for his pregame stint. "But as soon as we lose and I dance on the logo, everyone is like, 'Oh my gosh that's the reason why they're losing. He's not focused.' If I'm not focused, just go back and look at the stats. Go back and look at my catch radius. I'm doing everything I can for my team. If the coaches put me in a certain situation to make a play, I'm going to make a play. And that's just how I am."