Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is no stranger to taking hard hits on the football field (including one that Cincinnati Bengals safety Vonn Bell would like you to remember.)
But in his latest Instagram post, added on Wednesday, Smith-Schuster gets hit by professional boxer Ryan Garcia, a 22-year-old lightweight/super featherweight from California.
In what he describes as the ‘Body Shot Challenge,’ Smith-Schuster is seen taking repeated body blows from Garcia, a series of 18 lefts and three rights before he finally crumples to the ground. Smith-Schuster captioned the post:
“Amazing workout with @kingryan so much respect for Pro Boxers! This was no joke!”
Watch the video of the (one-sided) exchange immediately below:
Smith-Schuster Tests His Strength Against a Lioness
If you’re wondering about the wisdom of taking rapid-fire kidney punches from a professional boxer while just weeks away from negotiating an NFL contract worth tens of millions of dollars, well, it was only yesterday that Smith-Schuster engaged a 425-pound lioness in a tug-of-war.
The showdown takes place at an animal sanctuary—or so it seems—as the 24-year-old wide receiver also posted a picture of himself with a snake around his neck, apparently in an ongoing effort to overcome his fear of snakes.
If you’re wondering how Smith-Schuster fared in the tug-of-war with the lioness, here’s the video of the showdown:
JuJu Smith-Schuster’s Contract Status?
Meanwhile, Smith-Schuster seems to be lamenting the fact that he doesn’t yet have a contract extension from the Steelers.
When teammate Zach Banner—a fellow unrestricted free agent—recently indicated he’d be taking a break from social media until he signs a new contract, Smith-Schuster replied “wish I can get one.”
Yet Smith-Schuster figures to be many times more expensive than Banner and also happens to play a position where the Steelers have quality depth in the form of Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson and James Washington.
On the other hand, the Steelers are thin at the offensive tackle position, with just one established player, Chuks Okorafor, under contract for 2021.
Banner is also in the process of recovering from the torn ACL he suffered in the season opener last year, which makes him that much less attractive as compared to other free agents who have a track record as a starter—Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, for example—who is also an unrestricted free agent.
As such, the Steelers are expected to re-sign Banner to a one-year prove-it deal, while the team figures to let Smith-Schuster test the market. If given the chance, the Steelers could then decide if they want to make a competitive offer.
Smith-Schuster, who was Pittsburgh’s second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, is coming off a season in which he caught 97 passes and scored a career-high nine touchdowns. Yet he gained just 831 yards receiving (with a career-low average of 8.6 yards per catch), this on the heels of a season in which he had a mere 552 receiving yards.
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