JuJu Smith-Schuster, future Chief?

January 26, 2022

ChiefscFcous @Chiefsfocus @jarrodchiefsfcs

Multiple sources are reporting Pittsburgh Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is interested in joining the Chiefs when his contract expires on March 16. He was previously interested in joining the Chiefs before he signed his 1-year contract with the Steelers on March 19, 2021.

Smith-Schuster missed 12 games during the 2021 season after injuring his shoulder in October. He underperformed in the five games he did play, only recording 15 receptions and 129 yards. He did return for the Steelers in their playoff game against the Chiefs but only recorded a single catch for five yards in the game. In the previous seasons, however, he was a solid option for the Steelers at receiver when healthy. He led rookie receivers in receiving yards in 2017 and was selected to the PFWA All-Rookie team that year. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2018, his second year in the league, after finishing fifth in the league in receiving yards.

Off the field, Smith-Schuster has generated some controversy with some of his posts to Tik Tok and some of his comments in press conferences. During the 2020 season, for away games, he would dance on opposing teams’ logos and post it to his Tik Tok. He specifically did this against the Bills and Bengals. The Bills defeated the Steelers that game 26-15. After he did that before a game against the Bengals, Bengals safety Vonn Bell laid a huge hit on him during the game and forced a fumble. The Steelers lost that game 27-17 as well. Early in the 2021 season, he participated in the controversial “Milk Crate Challenge”, before the social media platform banned the challenge. Prior to the Steelers playoff game against the Browns, he said “The Browns is [sic] the Browns” and called them a bunch of “nameless gray faces”. The Browns would defeat the Steelers in the playoffs.

One issue with the Chiefs during the 2021 season has been the team not having a true number 2 receiver. DeMarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle stepped up when the Chiefs needed him, but they are better suited not as a number 2 receiver. Smith-Schuster could definitely help provide that for the 2022 season. He would just need to understand that Tyreek Hill is the number one receiver and Travis Kelce is a key receiver as a tight end as well.

Now as far as if they should sign him is concerned, it couldn’t hurt. I don’t see him being very expensive in free agency after underperforming in the 2021 season. His social media antics I mentioned earlier are a bit much to be desired, but he does seem to have cleaned that up a bit. There’s nothing wrong with athletes posting on social media, they just have to be careful with what they post.

In the end, Smith-Schuster could be a low cost but potentially rewarding free agency signing. He’ll fill a need, but not break the bank too bad. He also gives Patrick Mahomes another weapon. While the area the Chiefs need to work on is more on defense and re-signing as many of their 27 pending free agents as possible, if they have a little extra cap space available, they should give him a call. It could be the last thing the offense needs to be an even bigger juggernaut than it already is.

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