The Pittsburgh Steelers had a long list of free agents heading into the 2022 regular season, and up until Friday had only lost one to another NFL organization. That one player was none other than Ray-Ray McCloud, who signed with the San Francisco 49ers.
With each passing day, the biggest name on the Steelers’ free agent list was wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. Fans of the black and gold were hoping for the former USC wideout to somehow find his way back to Pittsburgh, but Friday Smith-Schuster announced he will have a new home for the 2022 season.
The Kansas City Chiefs.
This is from Smith-Schuster’s verified Twitter account:
#ChiefsKingdom Let’s Go!— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) March 18, 2022
Before Smith-Schuster announced he was signing with Kansas City, he took to his Instagram page to say a big ‘Thank You’ and farewell to all the Steelers fans, and the organization, who supported him as young man when he came into the NFL.
If you were wondering about the terms of Smith-Schuster’s deal, Field Yates of ESPN says it is a one-year, $10.75 million dollar contract with Kansas City. Shockingly, a pay raise for Smith-Schuster who was injured the vast majority of the 2021 season.
JuJu Smith-Schuster is getting a one-year, $10.75M deal with the Chiefs, per source.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 18, 2022
In five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, JuJu Smith-Schuster started 51 games with 323 receptions for 3,155 yards and 26 touchdowns. Appearing in the Pro Bowl in 2018, Smith-Schuster hadt is only 1,000-yard season where he totaled 1,426 yards on 111 receptions. As for 2021, Smith-Schuster only appeared in five regular-season games where he had 15 receptions for 129 yards with no receiving touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. Fighting back from shoulder surgery, Smith-Schuster did appear in the Steelers Wild Card game where he had five receptions for 26 yards.
The Steelers still have a need at the wide receiver position, and the organization is likely going to try and target another receiver before the 2022 NFL Draft. In the meantime, it will be weird seeing Smith-Schuster wearing red and gold for Kansas City in 2022.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they press on throughout free agency and prepare for the 2022 NFL Draft.