The Pittsburgh Steelers and their global fan base have already been through a lot this free agency. Even a day after the start of the new league year, Steelers fans have watched names like Bud Dupree, Tyson Alualu, Mike Hilton and Matt Feiler leave via free agency to new teams.
With all that said, the Steelers still have plenty of free agents who have yet to sign with a new team, no name looms larger than wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
It was thought Smith-Schuster would be one of the biggest receiver names on the free agent market, but the former USC standout has watched other receivers sign lucrative deals, while he waits for his chance to cash in.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Smith-Schuster’s biggest suitor is none other than the New York Jets, and, despite them already signing Corey Davis in free agency, they are also interested in possibly bringing in Smith-Schuster.
Interesting development in the WR market: The #Jets have been having conversations with #Steelers FA WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, sources say, a potential target in their offense. Despite having signed Corey Davis, NYJ may not be done adding playmakers. Smith-Schuster is one to watch.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2021
Smith-Schuster, combined with Davis, would make a pretty solid receiver core for gang green, if they were to make the deal official. In the meantime, many are speculating about Smith-Schuster possibly returning to the Steelers on a one-year prove it contract before hitting the open market again when the salary cap presumably increases for the 2022 season.
If that is what happens, and Smith-Schuster returns to Pittsburgh, he certainly would have to consider his first stint with free agency a colossal failure. Looking to have a huge second contract, and settling for a one year deal with the Steelers, would be great for the team, but a gut punch for Smith-Schuster and his team.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the remainder of Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.