Steelers Aren't Benefiting From Amari Cooper's $100 Million Deal
PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers are not a team who enjoyed watching Amari Cooper and the Dallas Cowboys agree on a $100 million contract. As a team with a No. 1 wide receiver looking for a new contract next offseason, Pittsburgh will now be negotiating with a new standard that is out of their price range.
JuJu Smith-Schuster was hit by the injury bug in 2019 that certainly will hurt his negotiations for his first 'big' contract in the NFL. Still, the 2020 year can make up for a lot of that with a strong performance with a returning Ben Roethlisberger.
Hypothetically speaking, if he was to have another Pro Bowl season, the 23-year-old would be looking at a mega contract. Whether that's with the Steelers or on the open market will be up to him, but his best money option will leave him out of Pittsburgh after the season.
Cooper is a better wide receiver as of right now. Even in a struggling Dallas offense, Cooper caught 79 passes for 1,189 yards and eight touchdowns. Smith-Schuster has had a season better than Cooper's 2019 tally, but only one through three years.
Smith-Schuster hits the open market with names like T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward, leaving the Steelers with a lot of money to hand out in 2021.
Therefore, if the receiver is looking to break the new bar set by Cooper, he won't be looking to do so in Pittsburgh. And if the Steelers want to retain their top receiver for the future, they'll need to decide on which players they'll move on from to make enough cap room for him.
Smith-Schuster's agent has to be thrilled about the deal the Cowboys and Cooper got done. It wasn't undeserved, and won't be undeserved if Smith-Schuster receives something close to it.
The Steelers just can't afford to keep everyone when their team is full of potential stars. Which could mean Smith-Schuster finds his paycheck elsewhere.
Should the Steelers consider signing Smith-Schuster to a mega deal next offseason? Let us know in the comments below.