WR - PIT
Despite wanting more work outside, JuJu Smith-Schuster has been used almost exclusively in the slot, with little to no outside work whatsoever.
Despite requesting more work on the outside, that has not come to fruition thus far for Smith-Schuster in camp. Based on their depth chart with Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson, that is unlikely to change much. While the slot role in Pittsburgh comes with a consistent workload in terms of targets, the upside is solidly capped because of the kinds of targets the former Trojan gets. Last year, Smith-Schuster averaged only 6.5 yards per target, which was 96th among qualifying receivers. His slot role drastically reduced his upside because there were virtually no big plays in his arsenal. With the draft selection of Najee Harris, it's clear the Steelers want to run the ball more frequently. Any decrease in passing volume will have a significant effect on Smith-Schuster's fantasy value. The fourth-year pro is currently being selected as the WR30. There should be some concerns Smith-Schuster could fall to No. 3 on the target chain with a second-year improvement from Claypool. Fantasy managers can pretty much take it to the bank that the Steelers will pass less in 2021 after leading the league in passing attempts in 2020 and with the selection of Najee Harris. Fantasy managers should be skeptical of JuJu's fantasy value in 2021. While he appears to provide a safe, weekly floor, the decrease in passing volume and limited upside caps his appeal. He shouldn't be viewed as anything more than a WR3.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is re-signing with the Steelers on a one-year, $8M deal.
According to sources, Smith-Schuster had better offers from the Chiefs and Ravens, but ultimately decided to stay in Pittsburgh. He tweeted shortly after the deal was reported, “This is my home, they’re gonna need a wrecking ball to take me outta here! PITTSBURGH I LOVE YOU, LET’S GO!!!!!” So the Steelers offense is all but set except for the running back position, with James Conner likely on the move.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports the New York Jets have been "having conversations" with free agent WR JuJu Smith-Schuster.
The 24-year-old is fully expected to move on from Pittsburgh this offseason. Despite having already signed Corey Davis, the Jets are reportedly still looking to add play-makers. Smith-Schuster could operate as New York's primary slot receiver if he winds up joining them.
John Clayton of ESPN reports the Las Vegas Raiders are "very interested" in signing free agent wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Smith-Schuster has felt like a lock to leave Pittsburgh since the 2020 season kicked off. The Raiders still have Hunter Renfrow to play the slot, and they could also re-sign Nelson Agholor. Still, Smith-Schuster would be the most talented receiver of that trio and would therefore be likely to lead the Raiders in targets. The 24-year-old had an absolutely electric start to his career playing alongside Antonio Brown, but the past two seasons have been viewed as a disappointment by many.
JuJu Smith-Schuster was on Fox Sports Radio and said that he "would love to come back" to Pittsburgh and play with Ben Roethlisberger in 2021
Smith-Schuster confessed that this offseason is a bit different than ones in the past as Roethlisberger's future with the Steelers is uncertain. However, Smith-Schuster appears to want to stay in Pittsburgh. He said that Roethlisberger is "more about the team than anything else." At just 24-years old, Smith-Schuster will draw interest from a lot of receiver-needy teams this offseason if he and the Steelers are unable to work out a deal. He did say that "I feel like I want to be paid for what I'm worth" so unless the Steelers are willing to pay him, there's a chance that he leaves for more money. This situation should be monitored closely throughout the offseason as the departure of Smith-Schuster from Pittsburgh would elevate the stock of Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson in 2021.
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|T-1.||Mike Rigz||WR #41|
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