Veteran wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is expected to be a popular target in free agency.
According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the longtime Pittsburgh Steelers wideout is expected to draw interest from the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars. Re-signing in Pittsburgh is also a possibility.
Smith-Schuster, 25, played in just five games for the Steelers in the 2021 season after dislocating his shoulder in October, which required season-ending surgery.
When healthy, the veteran wideout has been productive, registering 323 catches for 3,855 yards and 26 touchdowns in 63 games across five seasons. Those averages translate to 87 receptions for 1,040 yards and seven touchdowns across a full 17-game season, a very solid return.
Teams that pursue him in free agency will be hoping to get back the player that caught 111 passes for 1,426 yards and seven scores in 2018. While he's never reached those highs again, he was perhaps miscast as the No. 1 receiver in Pittsburgh after Antonio Brown left town.
As the No. 2 option behind Brown, Smith-Schuster thrived. That type of role on a team would make sense, and with at least two of the teams reportedly interested—the Eagles have promising second-year wideout DeVonta Smith, while the Chiefs have Tyreek Hill—that's the role he would settle into.
He also would continue as the No. 2 option in Pittsburgh if he re-signs behind Diontae Johnson.
The Bears, however, would likely be signing him as a replacement for fellow free agent Allen Robinson. And the Jaguars currently have Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault Jr. atop their depth chart at the position if DJ Chark signs elsewhere.
Regardless, Smith-Schuster's upside and age will make him an intriguing option for teams in free agency that don't want to splash the cash it will likely take to sign Robinson. He should have a vibrant market.