Updated: Mar 20, 2022
(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
JuJu Smith-Schuster is heading to Kansas City on a one-year, $10.75 million deal. Smith-Schuster almost landed with the Chiefs last year in free agency, but decided to re-sign with the Steelers for one more year and make one last run with Ben Roethlisberger.
Smith-Schuster, 25, was a second-round pick by the Steelers in 2017 out of USC. Following an impressive rookie campaign, Smith-Schuster was named team MVP in 2018 after recording a career-high 117 passes for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns. Both those years were with Antonio Brown, however, and he's fallen off statistically since. The 2019 season was pretty much a wash, as Roethlisberger played just six quarters before suffering a season-ending elbow injury that required surgery. Smith-Schuster had an OK 2020 season, but it was nothing spectacular. He averaged just 8.6 yards per reception. And then the 2021 season didn't go as planned, as Smith-Schuster suffered a shoulder injury in Week 5 against the Broncos that sidelined him unit the wild-round loss against the Chiefs.
Judging by Smith-Schuster's offseason comments, it's not surprising that he didn't return to the Steelers. I think he wanted a fresh start, and playing with Patrick Mahomes is hard to pass on twice.