The dominoes are starting to fall for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After Ben Roethlisberger agreed to terms on a new contract, the organization instantly found themselves above the salary cap line. Better yet, they haven't had to cut or extend anyone to get on the correct side of the salary cap. As the Steelers accumulate more money it opens up the possibility of bringing back free agents from the 2020 team. No one has been more vocal about wanting to come back than receiver, JuJu Smith-Schuster.
JuJu wants to stay in Pittsburgh! @CoachTomlin #Steelers pic.twitter.com/LesBmo2Idi— Blitzburgh ✨ (@RenegadeBlitz) March 4, 2021
The Steelers find themselves in an interesting situation. By all means this team’s biggest hole is far from wide receiver and these freed up millions from Roethlisberger’s new deal would be better served elsewhere. However, if a player like Smith-Schuster is so willing to come back to town, and would take a pay cut, then you absolutely have to entertain the deal. It’s also pretty clear that rookie receiver Chase Claypool wants to keep his running mate in the Steel city.
Chase Claypool on JuJu! #Steelers pic.twitter.com/ES8DRY1eRM— BlitzburghVideos ✨ (@BlitzVideos) March 5, 2021
Now on multiple occasions Smith-Schuster has taken to Instagram expressing his desire for a new contract with the Steelers. By the eye test he either has his heart set on being a Pittsburgh Steeler, or he wants the Steelers to look like the bad guy when he signs elsewhere in hopes to save his image amongst the vast Steelers fan base. It will be hard to figure out, but whenever/wherever Smith-Schuster gets his deal he may tip his hand.
At just 24 years old Smith-Schuster still has a ton of football in front of him. Though his numbers have dipped in recent years, JuJu can reclaim 1,000 yard status if he is used properly within the offense. Many times over last season it appeared that both Ben Roethlisberger and Randy Fichtner forgot he was on the field.
Spotrac estimates JuJu Smith-Schuster’s next contract to be worth $16.1 Million annually, so the Steelers would still have a ton of work to do to fit that under the salary cap. A creative contract with open minds feels like the only way something of this magnitude gets done.
What do you think? Will JuJu and the Steelers agree on a new deal? If not what's the best fit for him? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.