The cap-strapped Steelers have found a way to pay receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster $8 million without paying him $8 million.
Per a source with knowledge of the deal, Smith-Schuster’s new contract has a signing bonus of $7 million and a base salary of $1 million. With four voidable years, the cap charge for the signing bonus becomes $1.4 million in 2021. Add in the base salary, and it’s a $2.4 million cap charge.
Others have reported that the cap charge is only $1.6 million. While the difference isn’t huge, $1.6 million isn’t accurate. And with the Steelers so tight against the cap, the extra $800,000 could end up making a huge difference.
The deal kicks $5.6 million in cap charges into 2022. The remaining years void five days after the 2021 Super Bowl.
Smith-Schuster could have earned $9 million with the Ravens. He took $1 million less to extend his career with the Steelers to a fifth season.