You’ve heard of a Secret Santa. How about a Secret Suitor? According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Philadelphia Eagles discussed trading for JuJu Smith-Schuster and made him a multi-year offer.
The one-time Pro Bowl wide receiver ultimately turned the Eagles down in favor of returning to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Smith-Schuster inked a one-year deal worth $8 million, per reports, and rejected a more lucrative offer from Philly because he “loved Pittsburgh and its fans too much to leave.”
The 24-year-old also turned down richer offers from the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. He took to Twitter to confirm the news and express his appreciation for the organization that drafted him in the second round back in 2017.
“Can’t say it enough, I love you Pittsburgh. Came in here a young 20-year-old and you guys embraced me from the moment I got here,” Smith-Schuster wrote on Twitter. “So much love. Had my back thru everything, all the struggles and success. So hard to leave. See you this Fall in Heinz WE’RE GOIN CRAZY!!!”
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Smith-Schuster enjoyed one of his best statistical seasons in 2020 after making 97 catches for 831 yards and a career-high nine touchdowns. He has racked up 308 receptions for 3,726 yards and 26 scores in four seasons in Pittsburgh, including a Pro Bowl invitation in 2018 when he hauled in 111 balls for 1,426 yards.
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Atlanta Falcons Looking at Kyle Pitts
The chances of the Eagles selecting Florida’s Kyle Pitts in the first round took a reported hit on Friday. The Atlanta Falcons are interested in taking the stud tight end with the fourth overall pick, according to The Associated Press’ Rob Maaddi. The news comes as a bit of a shock considering the Falcons just traded for Bills tight end Lee Smith. They also have veteran Hayden Hurst who made 56 catches for 571 yards last year.
The Falcons were believed to be interested in taking a quarterback at pick No. 4, leaving the door wide open for the Eagles to grab Pitts at No. 6. Of course, no one is sure what general manager Howie Roseman is thinking. He hasn’t ruled out taking a quarterback in the first round, plus there are several drool-worthy rookie receivers in this year’s draft class.
“You see over and over again, this is a quarterback-driven league, and these guys are all really good prospects,” Roseman said of the quarterbacks in this year’s class. “We’re going to make sure we do our due diligence on them and every other position that would be a possibility for us in the first round and with the rest of our 11 picks.”
Roseman Comments on Zach Ertz Trade Rumors
Zach Ertz still hasn’t been traded despite multiple reports that he wants out of Philly. The Pro Bowl tight end isn’t getting the lucrative contract extension he asked for so the two sides have engaged in trade talks with other teams.
However, the Eagles have made it clear from the outset that they won’t just give Ertz away. On Thursday, Roseman addressed the situation and reiterated that sentiment. Any move has to make sense for both Ertz and for the Philadelphia Eagles.
“For us to trade any player, it’s got to make sense for both sides,” Roseman said. “It’s got to make sense for the Philadelphia Eagles, too, because none of us have the year that we wanted last year, but that doesn’t define who we are, who we are in our jobs. We know who he is. We know who he is both on and off the field. We value that.”