As the NFL free agency period swiftly approaches, Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Shuster is making it clear that he wants to remain in Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Steelers started this NFL offseason with a ton of questions that they needed to answer. They watched an 11-0 start to last season fizzle out into a disappointing 12-4 finish, capped by a Wild Card loss to the Cleveland Browns.
To add insult to injury, Steelers fans had to watch the rapid decline of Ben Roethlisberger.
In the weeks since the season ended, the Steel Curtain has undergone a coaching staff transformation but still has Mike Tomlin as their leader. Just yesterday, Roethlisberger made it known that he would be back with the team next season and suddenly Pittsburgh’s future is starting to look a little like its past.
Now, another Steelers starter is making it known that he also wants to end his career in Pittsburgh.
JuJu Smith-Shuster says he wants to be a Steeler for life
This year’s free agency period will begin at 4 p.m. ET on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. When it rolls around, Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Shuster’s rookie contract will expire and he is expected to test the market for the value of his services.
“At the end of the day, I want to have my legacy in Pittsburgh and retire there,” the 24-year-old says. “I don’t want to leave,” said Smith-Shuster on the subject. The third-year player could receive a huge payday from teams like the Jets and Dolphins but it’s clear that he feels that Pittsburgh offers him the best chance at success.
Players have made statements like this before they packed their bags and headed elsewhere so we can’t be sure how much stock to put into Smith-Shuster’s statements. What we do know though, is that the 2021 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 29th and that the Steelers should be looking to secure players for their future.
Time will tell if Smith-Shuster will be along for the ride.