Juju Smith-Schuster

Juju Smith-Schuster’s future is more complicated than you think

  • BrawlNetwork
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster
  • NFL
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
By Christian Wolf September 19, 2020 0 Comment
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Juju Smith-Schuster is entering his contract season. What does this mean? Or more specifically, what does his future hold ?

This is a pivotal year for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster. Currently on the last year of his rookie contract, he’ll soon know whether or not he will be in Pittsburgh for the long term or if he’ll be playing somewhere else next season.

Fans are divided on this. For some, they don’t feel as if he has performed well enough consistently to stay. Others think he has. Regardless, a decision will be made after this season. The front office certainly has some work to do.

You can look at some history. The Steelers rarely sign receivers to a second contract, since they can find new ones who can perform just as well. The Steelers are known for their success at the receiver position.

Antonio Brown got a second contract, but he was an easy exception to the general Steeler tradition of letting them go. Is Smith-Schuster an exception too?

This season will prove a lot. It’s the judge on what the future will hold. Put aside the past seasons. If this season didn’t exist, there would be a 0% chance Smith-Schuster gets a new deal.

His season without Ben Roethlisberger was forgettable and makes his name seem a little less valuable. But then you can remember his first two seasons. Add those two together, and there isn’t a clear answer.

Even if the Steelers decide they don’t want to keep him around, they aren’t going to falter. They develop wideouts better than anybody else, and have three other solid receivers with James Washington, Diontae Johnson, and now Chase Claypool. Not to mention they have next year’s draft too.

The Pittsburgh Steeler’s receivers know they have a valuable job. Players such as Smith-Schuster, who plays nearly every offensive down, know that their jobs are replaceable. A player can’t just stand out, they have to be a generational type receiver. In Juju Smith-Schuster’s case, it’s not yet clear whether or not that’s what he brings to the team.

So is Smith-Schuster coming back?

If the Steelers don’t resign him, there will be 31 other teams in the NFL looking to do so. This is why the Steelers will do what they can in order to bring him back.

But that being said, the Steelers also know they don’t have to break the bank. If he decides he isn’t being offered what he thinks he’s worth, he won’t stick around.

So if he is going to be back in 2022, he will have to be willing to negotiate. There are some players who can almost CHOOSE their own salaries, but he isn’t one of them. He will have to work with the front office on what to do.

As a short answer, watch him this season. That will tell you what to expect this offseason.

 

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Steelers writer for the Brawl Network. Follow me on twitter @412champs

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