The Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 offseason will be one to remember. The question is was it as bad as it could have been? Not really. In fact, since the Steelers kept JuJu Smith-Schuster and Tyson Alualu in Pittsburgh that actually took away some of the sting from losing Bud Dupree, Mike Hilton, and Matt Feiler.
The Steelers ended up keeping their wide-receiver core together heading into the 2021 season and Pro Football Focus feels that is the most positive takeaway the Steelers have had in the offseason. Keeping JuJu Smith-Schuster in Pittsburgh on a hometown discount is considered a success for the Pittsburgh Steelers according to PFF. They feel the Steelers have had to make very tough decisions in the offseason and although Smith-Schuster is not a WR1 following Antonio Brown's departure from the team he still has developed into a player who can win in the middle of the field with his toughness and his after-the-catch ability.
JuJu has been one of the most prolific slot wide-receivers in the NFL over the course of 4 seasons. He ranks among the top five slot wide-receivers in the league in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. After posting an average depth of target of at least nine yards in each of the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons, JuJu’s 6.6 mark in 2020 was one of the lowest in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. You can thank Randy Fichtner for those numbers.
Now the Steelers will look to take advantage of their speedy wide-receivers by hiring Matt Canada as their new offensive coordinator heading into the 2021 season. Although the Steelers did lose some key players in the 2021 offseason they still kept their wide receivers core together by keeping JuJu Smith-Schuster on a hometown discount and that is why Pro Football Focus says that is the most positive takeaway the Steelers have had in the 2021 offseason so far. I couldn't agree more that keeping JuJu Smith-Schuster was a big move by the Steelers in the offseason. It looked like there was no possibility of keeping him in Pittsburgh, but at the last second JuJu decided to stay loyal to the City of Pittsburgh.