Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster reveals what he wants in free agency
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster didn’t exactly paint himself in the best light with his pregame dancing and pre-playoff chirping all throughout the 2020 season. His off-field antics were rumored to have been a distraction to the team, and the Steelers disappointed down the stretch as part of a late-season collapse after starting 11-0.
The 24-year-old is heading to unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career in the upcoming offseason. In an interview earlier this week on FOX Sports Radio, Smith-Schuster claimed that having a chance to compete for a Super Bowl will certainly be at the top of his priorities. However, the Steelers wideout insisted he also wants to get a contract on par with the level of production he is capable of contributing on the field:
“I’m always about winning. I want to be on a team that is fighting and competing for the playoffs every year. As far as the business side and the money, I want to be paid for what I am worth. Obviously for what I do for the team particularly.”
Smith-Schuster also addressed Ben Roethlisberger’s future in Pittsburgh:
📺@GottliebShow: "Juju, since the season has ended, have you spoken with Ben (Roethlisberger)?
📺@TeamJuJu: "I have not talked to Ben…since the last game."
📺@GottliebShow: "Is that normal?"
Hear JuJu's answer below: pic.twitter.com/16UdqmL351
— FOX Sports Radio (@FoxSportsRadio) February 2, 2021
Smith-Schuster finished his fourth campaign in the league with total tallies of 831 receiving yards on 97 receptions and nine scored touchdowns in 16 games played in the regular season. It was an improvement from 2019, when he only managed to suit up in 12 tilts due to a handful of injuries.
However, it was still a far cry from his numbers when he made the lone Pro Bowl appearance of his career back in 2018. The Steelers wide receiver finished with a total of 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns that year.
The contract situation of quarterback Roethlisberger will undoubtedly play a role in Smith-Schuster’s potential return to Pittsburgh. The 38-year-old veteran is set to incur a massive $41.25 million cap hit for the team next season, but he has already expressed his willingness to rework his contract to increase flexibility.