JuJu Smith-Schuster makes it clear he won’t be back in Pittsburgh

USA TODAY Sports

Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has said he’d like to spend his career in Pittsburgh. The Steelers have made it fairly clear that the relationship won’t be continuing. Smith-Schuster apparently has gotten the message.

The team’s 2018 MVP responded to a social-media poll from SI.com regarding Smith-Schuster’s future by picking the non-Pittsburgh option.

The question was simple: Will JuJu stay in Pittsburgh? The options were “I hope so” and “that’s a negative.” Smith-Schuster voted “that’s a negative.”

His candor surely will affect the odds regarding his next destination. PointsBet previously had the Steelers at a +300 proposition to keep Smith-Schuster, even with the Jets and trailing the Raiders at +130. Pittsburgh should now be a much longer shot.

Actually, Pittsburgh should have been a longer shot in the first place. With a strong group of young, cheap receivers, a serious cap situation, and a proven ability to draft great receivers, it’s been clear for a while that the Steelers are moving on.

60 responses to “JuJu Smith-Schuster makes it clear he won’t be back in Pittsburgh

  1. Juju as a person, undoubtedly incredible. Football player/celebrity, can’t stand the guy too much. I’ve watched his workout videos, he is very sluggish lifting the weights and running. Doesn’t seem to have grant killer instinct all stars have. Pittsburgh shouldn’t over pay. And juju wants top dollar. He markets his dog to sponsors, he loves being a celebrity.

  2. Stats reflect the fact that his play has changed from the long pass threat to a shorter game. That said; his numbers trending down the last two seasons don’t make it compelling to keep him at elite pay. However, with four years experience his youthful career is really just starting. Expect him to get a reasonable offer & I expect him to try for a short two-three year contract. The shorter, the better.

  3. At least Steelers fans don’t have to worry about Marlon Humphrey stripping the ball from him every year.

  4. This guy is the epitome of high maintenence, and his play the last couple of years doesn’t back up the cost of that maintenence

  5. Pittsburgh fans always seem to kick their receivers they used to love on their way out the door. Way back in the day they were trashing Mike Wallace for daring to want top dollar. All I heard was why can’t he be humble like Antonio Brown….Yes back then a number of fans considered Brown a humble blue collar receiver. Then when Brown diva’ed his way out of town Juju was held up as the lovable shinning light. Now that Juju is likely going elsewhere all I’m hearing are complaints about his social media antics. The love sure doesn’t last long in Pittsburgh.

  6. The Steelers are better at draft WR’s than any team in the league at picking any particular position. It’s astounding.

  7. Yes the Steelers draft great receivers they just can’t develop and retain them so what’s the point

  8. the middle of the negotiation is not the same as the end of the negotiation. Next step is JuJu’s agent getting a real read on what his market value is out there. That calibration may have him excited about leaving or … maybe less excited. The covid cap is league wide. The free agent class this year will get nothing like the free agent class last year or the year before… I think it kind’ve suxs for them. But … I think he needs a decent 2 year deal where he can demonstrate his talent so that he can hit the free agent market in his prime when it is not a covid cap.

  9. Mike Wallace, Santonio Holmes, Antonio Brown, now Juju….Steelers always know when it’s time to let them go, none ever did much after leaving Pitt, you could also say Antwaan Randel El didn’t do much in Washington either.

  10. The Steelers have only had 3 head coaches in the last 50 years, and they’ve each won at least one super bowl. The organization is top notch. They understand what it takes to win. The create an enivorment where players can maximize their talent, and do it in a way that benefits the team. When a player decides he’s more important than the team, they show him the exit. And the winning will continue.

  11. He’ll end up in Baltimore with a QB that can’t throw a ball.

    At least he’s a decent run blocker.

  12. He is every but as good as Landry and would love to have him back in Pittsburgh on a 4/60 deal. Man balls out every game his yac was killed this year cause Bens arm is shot. He catches 70 percent of the passes thrown to him.

  13. And this doubt about juju was on full display last year amongst fans. I know because I was defending him last year, being the QB carrousel and injuries he faced I chopped it as a down year. Figured this year he’d improve especially since Ben was back and Ben loves Juju so juju got his targets, and nothing steller. Pittsburgh doing the right by moving on

  14. I like Juju. I think he can still play and be very good. I wouldnt give him number 1 money and count on him though. Not sure if they have the cap but he would be a nice fit in KC to compliment the big play guys. I think he could be a nice 3rd option and chain mover.

  15. This is a shame to me. I am far from a Steelers fan but I really liked this guy for a couple years. When he laid out that piece of garbage Burfict I became an instant fan. And he seemed like the bigger man when AB started trashing him. But then he started to become a ME guy and I lost interesr. He is still young, and I like the way he plays the game. But I liked him alot more as a person 6 months ago

  16. No surprise here. Steelers can’t afford him and didn’t utilize him at all last season the way they should have, anyway.

  17. JuJu is a goof, who is more interested in branding via social media than in becoming a better football player. Let the buyer beware!

  18. Maybe Steelers can draft great receivers w/o fail or also maybe Ben deserves a little credit for making mediocrity look a whole lot better.

  19. Typical Steelers fans, hating a guy the instant he’s out the door. Pitt is getting worse without this guy. 6-10 next year, book it.

  20. could his deep reception numbers be trending down and his short game has went up have anything to do with ben not having the arm he once did?

  21. If you are not a Steelers fan this looks like rinse, lather, repeat. Draft a receiver, develop them, watch them become a great weapon, watch them become a diva, live with it a few years, send them packing. I’ve got to give them credit, their talent for finding and developing receiving talent is second to none. But after that, something starts to go wrong…..

  22. The Steelers have a knack of finding receivers in the later rounds of the draft. We will soon find out if it’s from their scouting or Big Ben. My hunch it’s more about Big Ben making average players into weapons. As an Eagles fan, I am very jealous of how well they develop all their draft picks.

  23. Pittsburgh may draft great receivers, but some have attitude problems. Add Ju-Ju to the list with Antonio Brown and LeVon Bell. Maybe a change in venue will change his attitude.

  24. blackqbwhiterb says:
    March 11, 2021 at 8:07 pm
    Mike Wallace, Santonio Holmes, Antonio Brown, now Juju….Steelers always know when it’s time to let them go, none ever did much after leaving Pitt, you could also say Antwaan Randel El didn’t do much in Washington either.
    _____________

    Conveniently forgot Plaxico Burress and Emmanuel Sanders. Both won Super Bowls after they left the Steelers.

  25. No surprise here. The Steelers have no problem getting rid of players that don’t buy into what they are doing.

  26. “dasublime69oz says:
    March 11, 2021 at 11:42 pm
    Typical Steelers fans, hating a guy the instant he’s out the door. Pitt is getting worse without this guy. 6-10 next year, book it.”
    —————————————————–

    LOL…Every year the same prediction. Every year the same result…wrong. I guess, maybe, one day the prediction MIGHT come true. Like they say, “even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while.” Besides that, who’s “hating” on him? Just because you don’t agree with the antics, it doesn’t mean you’re hating on someone. No team needs these type of distractions.

  27. Won’t make a diff for the Stillers. Long list of well drafted receivers shown the door (and all typical divas). JuJu, AB, Emanuel, Wallace, Holmes, Plaxico. Claypool will be next to join the list.

  28. All I can say is BUYER BEWARE with those P-Burgh WR free agents. Look how many have left the team and never got a whiff of their past performances.

  29. Probably grew tired from running 1 yard crossing routes and catching passes in a crowd of defenders.

  30. He has the antics of an elite diva, but only plays like a solid two…guessing he wants to be paid more like the former, too. Even if he accepts getting paid like the latter, though, I’m not interested in him bringing his act around my team if I’m a head coach or GM… It’s a gamble when the walk matches the talk…but in a case like this? You gotta be outta your mind. The only way I’d ever consider JuJu is for pennies on the dollar. But for market or over, not a chance!

  31. You draft a young, healthy receiver, get him productive during the rookie contract, then evaluate.

    It should be the way with running backs. Totally healthy 22-year-old with no knee issues. If it doesn’t work out, you never really paid the guy big money. Some positions – like O line or QB – should be plus/minus 10 years if he’s good. You pay those guys. Other positions you don’t pay the same kind of money.

  32. bkinacti0n says:
    March 12, 2021 at 10:26 am
    blackqbwhiterb says:
    March 11, 2021 at 8:07 pm
    Mike Wallace, Santonio Holmes, Antonio Brown, now Juju….Steelers always know when it’s time to let them go, none ever did much after leaving Pitt, you could also say Antwaan Randel El didn’t do much in Washington either.
    _____________

    Conveniently forgot Plaxico Burress and Emmanuel Sanders. Both won Super Bowls after they left the Steelers.

    —–

    So did Antonio Brown

    @CharlieCharger, Pittsburgh hasn’t sniffed a SB in over a decade. In fact they haven’t even played in an AFCCG.

  33. Good riddance. Will get #1 WR money from some stupid team. I’ve already discarded my son’s #19 jersey.

  34. If there’s one position the Steelers and their fans couldn’t care less about, it’s a loud mouth WR. The Steelers have (and have had for over a decade) the blueprint of how to find and develop WR talent, so when the WRs start acting like JuJu, move on without hesitation. JuJu will get replaced by some ho-hum 5th round pick that will turn out to be the next young star WR.

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