Nearly three days into the period for fielding offers, there has been little if any news regarding offers made to free-agent receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
The Steelers’ MVP in 2018, Smith-Schuster has completed his rookie contract and can be signed by any team.
Obviously, he hasn’t gotten an offer that he likes. Given that his name hasn’t even come up suggests that teams have been aware of his contractual expectations, and that no one is willing to give him whatever he may be looking for.
The challenge when it comes to paying Smith-Schuster comes from the fact that he’s a No. 2 receiver. So if he gets something like $18 million per year from a new team, that team’s No. 1 receiver instantly will want more — unless it’s a team with a player on a rookie contract that can’t yet be re-done.
The fact that Smith-Schuster had a chance to be the No. 1 receiver in Pittsburgh after the departure of Antonio Brown in 2019 makes it even more clear that Smith-Schuster won’t be joining a team as its No. 1.
Speaking of Brown, Smith-Schuster recently was asked in a podcast appearance to name someone he’d box. Smith-Schuster said Brown. Like Smith-Schuster, Brown is a free agent and his name has yet to come up in free agency.
Before free agency, there was chatter linking Smith-Schuster to the Raiders and the Jets. The Raiders have signed John Brown, and the Jets have signed Corey Davis. It remains to be seen whether those teams or someone else makes a run at Smith-Schuster.
Ultimately, he may have to take a one-year deal and try to get the payday he’s looking for next year, when the cap goes up.