Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network sets the Steelers’ chances of re-signing WR JuJu Smith-Schuster at 10 percent.
That’s 10 percent too many.
I’m evil because I’m perceived to be picking on Smith-Schuster. I’m a bad person.
So, let me ask you: Why should the Steelers keep Smith-Schuster, especially when it would cost them multiple years at between $12 million-$16 million per?
The Steelers have given a second contract to two receivers since the turn of the century: Hines Ward and Antonio Brown. Smith-Schuster isn’t close to being in their class.
Rapoport also says Smith-Schuster could sign a one-year contract with an eye toward the salary cap going up in the future as NFL revenues increase because of new TV deals and the return of ticket sales post-pandemic.
But Smith-Schuster isn’t good enough to take that risk.
Smith-Schuster isn’t good enough, period. He will get overpaid in free agency, but it shouldn’t be by the Steelers.
Smith-Schuster committed fumbles that lost games to New Orleans in 2018 and Baltimore in 2019. The Steelers missed the playoffs by one game both seasons.
Smith-Schuster committed a fumble that went a long way toward the Steelers losing at last-place Cincinnati last year.
Smith-Schuster had one big year: 2018, when he had 111 catches for 1,426 yards using space created by Brown. He did not top 100 receptions in any of his three other seasons.
Last year, Smith-Schuster had 97 catches for 831 yards. That’s an 8.6-yard average.
Those stats are solid for a No. 3 receiver. For a slot receiver. That’s what Smith-Schuster is. One who lets you down at crunch time. An unprofessional narcissist who frequently distracts. One of too many Steelers who have never won a playoff game. Branding uber alles.
The Steelers already have three good receivers under contract: Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson and James Washington.
Why on earth should the Steelers give Smith-Schuster a multi-year contract worth $12 million-$16 million per year?
I’ll hang up and listen. Better year, tweet me @MarkMaddenX .
But every reason you give will be overrating and bull***t. Made with your heart, not your head.
You like Smith-Schuster. I get it. You pretend you know him because of social media. He's undeniably charismatic. That’s not legitimate reason to overpay him. Not when the Steelers have so many other needs to address.
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