Former USC wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster shared his honest take on why he signed a one-year deal worth $8 million, with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Smith-Schuster was drafted to the Steelers in 2017, and has spent the last four seasons as one of their primary offensive targets. The wide receiver amassed 831 receiving yards and nine touchdowns last season, while totaling 3,726 yards and 26 touchdowns in four-years overall.
While it was long assumed that JuJu would seek other options during free agency, he ultimately decided on returning to Mike Tomlin's team for the 2021 season.
Smith-Schuster said that 'loyalty' to the organization and 'the fans' played a key role in his decision.
"Staying with my quarterback that I've been playing with for the last four years and the fact that he's coming back for one more year, and the fact that I can have that potential for a one-year deal, just [how the] organization set everything up for me. They pretty much know my body inside and out, on the field and off the field, how I am.
Don't get me wrong, Patrick Mahomes is a great quarterback and he will be for the next decade, but I think it's just a loyalty to my coaches, my receiver coach and to my quarterback.
I already knew if I went to the Ravens, fans would destroy me. ... And then going to the Chiefs, obviously they have a great, great offense and all that. Being able to play with Tyreek [Hill] and Travis [Kelce] and all that. But at the end of the day, I've got to do what's best for me, and that's staying home. Knowing my quarterback, knowing my OC, knowing my receiver coach, it just makes it easier on me this year going into next year, that next year's free agency will be a lot better."
The TikTok star mentioned that he hopes to sign another four-year contract with the Steelers after the 2021 season, citing, "[to] have nine years as a Steeler would be tremendous and remarkable."
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