One of the best wide receivers available in the NFL free agent market was JuJu Smith-Schuster, and the team that won the sweepstakes was the New England Patriots. The two sides agreed on a three-year, $33 million contract for Smith-Schuster to play in New England.
So what was it about the Patriots that intrigued the free agent enough to sign with them? After all, Smith-Schuster was a part of a team that won the Super Bowl in the Kansas City Chiefs, and he was catching passes from MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Was it more money, being able to eat that classic chowder? What gives?
JuJu Smith-Schuster gave his reason for coming to New England in an interview captured by NBC Sports Boston.
“To be honest, it was (head coach Bill) Belichick, man,” Smith-Schuster said. “Just the want and the need and the position that I can fill there really caught my attention, and I felt that like that was the (biggest) thing: feeling wanted in a place where I played against a head coach who have a lot of respect for. And I just think that goes a long way.”
Smith-Schuster also talked about the role he believes Belichick and new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has in store for him.
“(They’re) giving me the opportunity to (play) inside (or) outside. I think what Bill does bring to the table is being able to dominate on the offensive game plan, and me coming in and filling those roles, obviously they see potential in what I can do.”
Well, when Smith-Schuster puts it that way, one can see why he would want to be a Patriot. Fit and playing for one of the best coaches to ever do it could entice anyone. Consider the AFC East as officially on notice.