Former Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster signed a one-year deal to join the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason, which could be worth more than $10 million. The incentive-laden deal could also be worth as little as $2.9 million, as Smith-Schuster once again bet on himself after failing to find a good fit in free agency.
Last season, after sitting on the market unsigned, Smith-Schuster returned to Pittsburgh on a one-year, $8 million contract. That bet on himself didn’t pan out, as Smith-Schuster suffered a season-crippling shoulder injury early in the year and didn’t return until the postseason.
But it’s still curious that in an offseason where seemingly every wide receiver has either gotten paid or demanded to get paid in a significant fashion, that Smith-Schuster once again had to settle for a one-year deal.
Casting aside his injury-shortened 2021 season, Smith-Schuster caught 97 pass for 831 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020.
Using the same chart that estimated Diontae Johnson’s value on a long-term contract as $22 million should put Smith-Schuster somewhere between Christian Kirk (993 yards, $18 million) and Robby Anderson (555 yards, $14.7 million).
That’s a long way from what Smith-Schuster signed for, even with the question marks of an injury.
Smith-Schuster was well-liked in the Steelers locker room and was so attached to the city of Pittsburgh that he returned for a goodbye to Steelers fans this weekend. He fought back from his shoulder injury to return late last year. It’s strange that he wasn’t able to cash in this offseason when so many receivers have.
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