Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster just made some bold claims about his future with the organization as he enters free agency.
“At the end of the day, I want to have my legacy in Pittsburgh and retire there,” the 24-year-old says. “I don’t want to leave.”
Smith-Schuster just wrapped up a solid year in Pittsburgh. He ended the season with 97 receptions, 831 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns.
With recent reports of Ben Roethlisberger wanting to return for a final year, it’s no wonder Smith-Schuster is eager to re-sign with Pittsburgh as well. He has become one of Big Ben’s favorite targets, as noted by his impressive 75.8% catch percentage.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Steelers treat the offseason. They had an impressive year in 2020 but fell short after losing to the Cleveland Browns in the playoffs. Pittsburgh aims to reload and take another shot at a title run in 2021. However, there are multiple holes that need filling before the start of the new season.
Smith-Schuster will be a sought-after candidate in free agency. He’s currently 24 years old, which gives any franchise some longevity in the receiver department if they sign him. With a stacked receiver group available in the free-agent pool this year, there will surely be some new faces on different teams throughout the league.
Although Smith-Schuster could catapult his career with another franchise, he has obviously found a home he likes in Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger is near retirement, which means the front office is likely to find his replacement this offseason. Even so, Smith-Schuster seems comfortable staying in Pittsburgh regardless.
This should be exciting news for Steelers fans, as retaining Smith-Schuster would give the Pittsburgh offense a strong receiving core once again. A few other positions need some replacing, but if the Steelers can find some solid depth this offseason, they could find themselves making another playoff appearance and perhaps a run at a Super Bowl.