During the 2021 offseason, many around the league thought JuJu Smith-Schuster was going to leave the Pittsburgh Steelers. Internally inside the Pittsburgh Steelers organization they thought the same was going to happen until the days started going by without JuJu getting a big contract offer. It seems almost every top wide receiver came off of the board before JuJu Smith-Schuster did during the 2021 offseason. Some free-agent wide receivers did end up getting big contracts, but others had to settle for a one-year deal due to a depleted market from Covid-19.
One of those players who had to take a one-year deal was JuJu Smith-Schuster. It is only going to be for $8 million dollars in 2021, but it will give the Steelers and JuJu an opportunity to try and secure a bigger deal after the 2021 season. During his interview with the media after OTAs JuJu hopes the Steelers can get a 4-year deal done with him. This is not the first time he has said he would like to get a longer-term deal done with the Steelers organization.
Normally the Steelers love loyalty and if you stay loyal to the organization then they will eventually return the favor in some form. One way would be to walk into the 2022 season with having the biggest cap room in the NFL and locking up JuJu Smith-Schuster to a longer-term deal. TJ Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick will need to be paid in a big way, but if JuJu plays well this season I think they could get a deal done if they wanted to.
Mark Kaboly of The Athletic thinks JuJu Smith-Schuster sounded like a player who will not be back in Pittsburgh during today's interview with the media. Maybe that is why he is so adamant about wanting a longer-term deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers... I could have sworn he has said it now 4 or 5 times now during his offseason interviews. Hopefully, the Steelers can eventually get a longer-term deal done with JuJu Smith-Schuster in the offseason, but I know their priority will be to lock up TJ Watt in a big way in 2022. I believe the Steelers should find a way to get a longer-term deal done with JuJu during the 2022 season.