JuJu Smith-Schuster Opens Up About Free Agency, Hopes for Long-Term Deal With Steelers

JuJu Smith-Schuster didn't envision staying with the Pittsburgh Steelers when he hit the open market.
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The Pittsburgh Steelers re-signed wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster on what many would consider a steal of a contract. The Pro Bowl wide receiver returned to the team that drafted him on a one-year, $8 million deal after expectations came crashing down in free agency.

Smith-Schuster says he doesn't regret the decision to return to the Steelers, but free agency wasn't what he had planned.

"Everything this year did not play out to how I wanted it to be when I look back five, four years," Smith-Schuster told Pro Football Talk. "It's a lot different. It's betting on myself, going with the team I've been with before, and going out trying to get paid again."

In March, Smith-Schuster was expected to receive between $14-$17 million on a multi-year deal. He says he did receive offers from the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens but believes returning to Pittsburgh was the best option long-term.

"Going back to where I know my quarterback, I know my receivers coach, I know my offense," Smith-Schuster said. "They know me, they know my body. Just betting on myself is something that I've looked at, and I don't regret it at all."

Smith-Schuster also acknowledged he'd like to see the numbers he expected in 2022 and hopes it comes with the Steelers. His ideal landing spot next offseason is to sign a four-year deal in Pittsburgh. 

Noah Strackbein is a Publisher with AllSteelers. Follow Noah on Twitter @NoahStrack, and AllSteelers @si_steelers.