We’re just over one month away from the start of the NFL free agency negotiation period, and the Pittsburgh Steelers face a lot of decisions to make. They have 20-plus players scheduled to hit the free-agent market, including star wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
After briefly testing free agency last March 2021, Smith-Schuster was surprisingly extended a one-year contract last offseason. He missed a dozen games after suffering a shoulder injury in Week 5, so it’s difficult to gauge what teams will have interest in rolling the dice with Smith-Schuster. The injury was initially expected to be season-ending, but he did return for the Steelers’ one and only playoff game versus the Chiefs on January 16. He only caught five passes for 26 yards — not much to show teams what he’s capable of post-surgery.
The Steelers could sign him to another one-year deal, which would be more of a prove-it situation given the injury predicament. If he goes off, maybe package him in a trade before the deadline. If not, cut ties in 2023.
Or, Pittsburgh could let him walk entirely.
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Smith-Schuster took to Instagram on January 31 and posted a photo of his packed car with the ominous message, “It’s been real Pitt!”
When the receiver bid farewell to his beloved city of Pittsburgh, many assumed the worst. It was a purposely vague post to send Steelers fans into a frenzy, and it worked.
“Congratulations, you’re making every Steeler fan believe this is his last goodbye,” SuttonSZN replied.
One fan wrote: “Girls have posted this on their Insta story for every flight they’ve ever taken since 2015, but Juju goes back home to California for the offseason and everyone loses their minds.”
“Thanks but get ya ass up outta here,” Don responded.
One Steelers fan suggested drug-testing the Rooneys (Steelers owners) if they let Smith-Schuster go.
While many fans were bummed or thanking Smith-Schuster, this one wrote, “He can go, he aint no AB.”
“@TeamJuJu did you say that for real? Did you mean that!! Let me go to your page!!” one fan responded.
“Okay crying,” one Steelers fan wrote.
“Say it ain’t so @TeamJuJu,” wrote a fan.
All MJ could do was express her feelings in emojis:
Another did the same with broken hearts.
“Where tf Juju going?” asked another.
Fans have no choice but to wait it out until a decision is made: Will the Steelers make a rare move and extend Smith-Schuster or does another team sign him in free agency?
Smith-Schuster and SNICKERS
Over the past few months, more than 2,000 fans submitted written, photo or video examples of “rookie mistakes” they made.
Finally, on February 2, JuJu Smith-Schuster and a few of his VIP NFL colleagues hosted the SNICKERS Rookie Mistake of the Year Award Show. The four stars highlighted the top submissions before announcing the RMOY to one lucky entrant who won a trip to Super Bowl 56.
As the video closes, Smith-Schuster devours a SNICKERS, “I could eat these all day!”
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