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JuJu Smith-Schuster Agrees to 1-Year, $10.75M Contract with Chiefs in NFL Free Agency

Erin WalshMarch 18, 2022

Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has agreed to a one-year, $10.75 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, according to ESPN's Field Yates

Smith-Schuster announced on Twitter that he is headed to Kansas City and he also penned a goodbye statement to Pittsburgh: 

JuJu Smith-Schuster @TeamJuJu

Thank you, Steelers Nation!! I Love You! 💛🖤 <a href="https://t.co/o5xN8fgc9C">pic.twitter.com/o5xN8fgc9C</a>

Smith-Schuster missed the majority of the 2021 season after undergoing surgery on his dislocated shoulder in October. He appeared in the team's first five games of the season and didn't return until Pittsburgh's AFC Wild Card Round matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, a game in which he had five catches for 26 yards in a 42-21 loss. 

Smith-Schuster had been a staple in Pittsburgh's offense since being selected in the second round of the 2017 draft. In 63 career games, he has 323 catches for 3,855 yards and 26 touchdowns across five seasons.

The 25-year-old's best season came in 2018 when he caught a career-high 111 passes for 1,426 yards, in addition to seven touchdowns.

Smith-Schuster initially became a free agent after the 2020 season and generated interest from the Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. He ultimately re-signed with the Steelers on a one-year, $8 million deal. 

Smith-Schuster had been vocal about wanting to remain with the Steelers in the past. He said in an Instagram post after the team's AFC Wild Card Round loss to the Chiefs that he would like to remain with the franchise:

"I’ve said it before and have the same stance: I’d love to be Pittsburgh for life. I hope we can make that happen this offseason and I want to be a part of this franchise’s return to glory. It’s not a matter of if, but when, and I hope I’m wearing the black and gold, celebrating a Super Bowl with these fans, when it happens. Love you guys."

Pro Football Network's Aaron Wilson reported in January that Smith-Schuster had interest in joining the Chiefs after nearly signing with the franchise last season, so it should come as no surprise that he ended up there. 

With Smith-Schuster on board, Kansas City's depth gets even better out wide. He'll join Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Josh Gordon and tight end Travis Kelce as top targets for Patrick Mahomes. 

With Smith-Schuster now off to the Chiefs, the Steelers will need to focus on rejuvenating their receiving corps this offseason. Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool will highlight the group in 2022, unless an addition is made. 

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