Arguably the biggest offseason signing for the New England Patriots has given fans a first look at how he will look in a Patriots uniform.
Smith-Schuster is joining the Patriots after spending one season with the Kansas City Chiefs. Along with winning a Super Bowl ring, the wide receiver tallied 78 receptions for 933 yards and three touchdowns per Pro Football Reference.
The No. 7 became available after punter Jake Bailey left the team.
JuJu Smith-Schuster Hasn’t Worn No. 7 Before
The 2023 season will mark the first time that Smith-Schuster will wear the number. Last season, while in Kansas City, Smith Schuster wore No. 9 which he also wore in college at USC.
“When you’re on the same team and you have the same number and if you change it, you have to pay the fee for the rest of that jersey,” Smith-Schuster said. “And then whatever new number you get, you’ve got to pay another inventory for that and that’s a whole process. He’s probably going to have to ask for like $100K, which I’m definitely not going to do.”
Judon followed up the comments by saying he would need more than $100K.
So it looks like Smith-Schuster has made the financially smart decision and will be switching things up in 2023.
JuJu Smith-Schuster Didn’t Know Where New England Was
While New England will be home for Smith-Schuster, he admitted to Patriots.com that he didn’t even know where New England was in the country.
“At first, I’m going to be honest with you, I didn’t know where New England and Foxborough was and all that,” Smith-Schuster said. “But actually getting here last (month) and being here and seeing the whole stadium, it’s a pretty cool setup. So I’m excited just to be here and just to play ball.”
Smith-Schuster was well aware of New England’s head coach Bill Belichick. The wide receiver has said that Belichick is a major reason he joined the Patriots.
“I’ve always been a fan of Bill,” Smith-Schuster said. “Played against him a couple of times when I played in Pittsburgh. Coming here and knowing that he believed in me and to give me the opportunity to play for his team for the next couple years, just shows that it’s nice to be here. I know what he’s capable of. I know what he’s done in the past. I know what I can bring to the team. It’s going to be a fun year.”
With Meyers gone, DeVante Parker and Smith-Schuster will be relied upon to be the leaders in the passing game for New England. Parker had a decent debut season with the Patriots. The 30-year-old wide receiver racked up 31 receptions for 539 yards and three touchdowns per Pro Football Reference.