Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is set to be a free agent this offseason and the conventional wisdom for some time has been that he’ll be playing elsewhere in 2021.
However, Smith-Schuster says his first and foremost preference would be to stay in Pittsburgh.
“At the end of the day, I want to have my legacy in Pittsburgh and retire there,” Smith-Schuster told TMZ. “I don’t want to leave.”
Smith-Schuster has played out his rookie deal and has earned a contract that most believe will be too rich for Pittsburgh to match even if they were able to.
But Smith-Schuster says he can’t see himself playing for a different team.
“Not right now. Until I actually get let go, other than that, I’m Pittsburgh for life,” he said.
If Smith-Schuster is willing to take a discount, potentially a steep one, to put his money where his words are, perhaps a return shouldn’t be ruled out.
Smith-Schuster, 24, was a second-round pick by the Steelers out of USC in the 2017 NFL Draft. He just finished the final year of a four-year, $4.19 million rookie contract that included a $1.19 million signing bonus.
In 2020, Smith-Schuster appeared in all 16 games for the Steelers and caught 97 passes for 831 yards (8.9 YPC) and nine touchdowns.
We have him included in our Top 100 – 2021 Free Agents list.