Steelers will address JuJu Smith-Schuster’s contract ‘when appropriate’
The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to address JuJu Smith-Schuster’s contract “when appropriate.” When the Steelers moved on from Antonio Brown, the hope was that Smith-Schuster would step right into the star wide receiver role, without all the antics off the field.
That didn’t quite happen with Smith-Schuster, as he missed four games, and the stats didn’t pop off the page. He finished the season catching 42 passes for 552 yards and three touchdowns. Each of the last three games, he only caught two passes each and going forward
Smith-Schuster is set to be a free agent after the 2020 season, but Art Rooney II doesn’t seem in a big rush to get a new deal done.
“Well again, it was a tough season to evaluate with the different quarterbacks and some of JuJu’s injuries so it’s a tough season to evaluate from a lot of different standpoints,” Rooney said, via PennLive.com. “Obviously we still think highly of JuJu and still think he’s going to be an outstanding player in the league moving forward and we will address the contract situation when it’s appropriate.”
It makes sense after last season that the two sides might have trouble getting a long-term deal. The Steelers probably aren’t willing to hand out a big contract, and Smith-Schuster probably doesn’t want to take a small contact. It probably makes sense for both sides to have the 2020 season play out, and see if they can get a contract done.
There is some risk involved on both sides, but Smith-Schuster needs to prove he can be a star wideout without Brown.