JuJu Smith-Schuster has returned back to the Pittsburgh Steelers after signing his one-year deal on Friday. This will give both sides the opportunity to come up with a long-term deal in the near future as the Steelers are going into 2022 with plenty of cap to make it work. JuJu is smart to do the one-year deal and I believe it will pay off for him in the end to show his loyalty to the Pittsburgh Steelers rather than any other NFL team.
It appears JuJu Smith-Schuster's stock was not as high as everyone thought going into free agency, but that was due to a shrinking market that has been affected by Covid-19. The Steelers allowed him to gauge his interest in free agency hoping he would not get offers like he was thinking to get and they were right. That is just how business works in regards to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now JuJu Smith-Schuster will come back to Pittsburgh on a friendly one-year, $8 million dollar deal looking for a 4-year deal in the near future.
Pro Football Focus recently said it was very good for the Steelers to retain JuJu Smith-Schuster in Pittsburgh. They do feel though his off-field antics and the departure of Antonio Brown made his stock dip going into free agency. Ever since Antonio Brown has left Pittsburgh JuJu's trajectory hasn't lived up to his earlier seasons when Antonio Brown was with Pittsburgh. This is unfortunately true. The only 100-yard game JuJu Smith-Schuster had in 2020 was against the Cleveland Browns in the Playoffs. That doesn't say JuJu Smith-Schuster is still not a valuable wide receiver because he is. Especially in the slot. He is considered one of the most clutch slot receivers in the game of football. He just needs help doing it.
The one thing I do agree with Pro Football Focus is that JuJu Smith-Schuster is not a number 1 wide receiver, but everyone knew this coming into free agency. Again he's one of the best slot receivers and since 2017, JuJu ranks second in the NFL with receiving yards (2,393) and receiving touchdowns (19). That is where JuJu Smith-Schuster works best from. If only the Steelers will get more creative with him instead of just throwing him short routes. Hopefully, Matt Canada can figure that out going into 2021.
JuJu Smith-Schuster wanted to run it back with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021. Although the Steelers have a porous offensive line and Ben Roethlisberger struggled to throw the ball down the field with consistency, the Steelers will still be bringing JuJu back looking to fix their offensive line and running game heading into 2021. The value that the Pittsburgh Steelers are getting for only $8 million dollars makes this a very good offseason re-sign. JuJu Smith-Schuster could go off in Matt Canada's offense and finally start showing he can put up bigger numbers.