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Steelers News: Michael Thomas’ extension could shine light on potential deal for JuJu Smith-Schuster

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2019 NFL Draft in the rear view mirror, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2019 season is fast approaching, and the news surrounding the black-and-gold is far from over. As the team now turns their attention to more offseason workouts, OTAs and minicamp, there is no shortage of news.

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how the New Orleans Saints giving their star wide receiver Michael Thomas a new contract could shine light on a potential second contract for JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Let’s get to the news:

  • When it comes to paying star wide receivers, excuse Steelers for being hesitant with this exercise. However, when the New Orleans Saints recently gave Michael Thomas his second NFL contract, it put a spotlight on a potential deal awaiting JuJu Smith-Schuster.

What Michael Thomas’ extension with Saints could mean for Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Drafted a year before Smith-Schuster at No. 47 overall, Thomas is entering the final year of his contract. According to ESPN, the Saints “likely will find a way to take care of Thomas” in regards to a lucrative extension before the season begins. ESPN even speculates that “it’s not out of the question that Thomas could become the NFL’s first receiver to average $20 million per year.”

Smith-Schuster, the No. 62 overall pick in 2017, isn’t quite to Thomas’ level just yet. Thomas has 321 career catches, the most in NFL history for any player over his first three seasons. Smith-Schuster has 169 catches through two seasons.

That said, if Smith-Schuster matches his 2018 production (111 catches, 1,426 yards) this season without Antonio Brown as a running mate, that would signify he’s solidly in Thomas’ company as one of the NFL’s best receivers. He also would be 2 ½ years younger than Thomas when he was entering the final season of his contract, with when accounting for a year’s worth of NFL salary inflation could indicate that Smith-Schuster could demand a contract similar to what Thomas gets.

To read the full article, click HERE

  • Could the Steelers pull off the ‘addition by subtraction’ theory in 2019?

Steelers’ hopeful 2019 outlook: Addition by subtraction

By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN

Young, ascending players will be emboldened.

“No disrespect to those guys or what they’ve been able to do over the course of their careers, particularly in Pittsburgh, but we had a Pro Bowl wideout on our team who’s still on our team from last year. We had a Pro Bowl running back last year who was on our team who’s still on our team,” said Tomlin, referring to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and running back James Conner. “So, we’ve got good players. We’ve got good, quality players specifically at those positions. Will we need additional plays from other people? Certainly, but you have that discussion and make those statements year in and year out, and we do.”

Starting with OTAs, which begin Tuesday, the Steelers hope to offset the loss of major talent with improvements in chemistry, depth and expanded roles.

The leadership growth of Smith-Schuster and Conner in year three will be one of many pivotal storylines, with two-thirds of the now-defunct Killer B’s trio in different locker rooms.

To read the full article, click HERE

  • How is the leadership on the 2019 Steelers? As JuJu Smith-Schuster says, it is “on point”!

JuJu: Chemistry in Steelers’ WR room ‘on point’

By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN

JuJu Smith-Schuster likes what he sees in his first official week as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ No. 1 receiver.

”The chemistry is on point,” Smith-Schuster told reporters after Wednesday’s organized team activities session. “Everyone is on the same page. Everyone is communicating. There’s really no -- how do you say? -- drama in our locker room.”

The Steelers took the field with excitement about Smith-Schuster, who replaces Antonio Brown as the top option in the passing game. Quarterback and co-captain Ben Roethlisberger said he believes Smith-Schuster is ready for the “awesome challenge.” Co-captain Cameron Heyward said Smith-Schuster, 22, is a “great kid” who only wants to improve.

To read the full article, click HERE

  • Antonio Brown might be gone, but he is continuing to be a nusance to the community.

Antonio Brown not done being a nuisance in Pittsburgh

By: Matt Rosenburg, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Antonio Brown might be gone from the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he’s not quite done causing a stir in the Pittsburgh area.

The grass on Brown’s Pine property appears to have gone weeks without manicuring, and a neighbor called him out on Twitter on Thursday night in a tweet that since has gone viral.

The Tribune-Review traveled to Brown’s home Friday morning, verifying the grass indeed was overgrown, as neighbor Donald Binotto’s tweet indicated.

Allegheny County real estate records confirm Brown is the owner of the home and Binotto is a neighbor.

To read the full article, click HERE

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