JuJu Smith-Schuster Hints He Won't Return to Steelers as Free Agent in SI Poll

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIMarch 12, 2021

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) celebrates after scoring on a 5-yard pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

JuJu Smith-Schuster's recent Instagram activity may hint at his plans for free agency.

Kaitlin O'Toole of Sports Illustrated posted a poll on Instagram on Thursday, asking whether the star wide receiver would remain in Pittsburgh. Tasked with choosing between "that's a negative" and "I hope so," Smith-Schuster was among the first five to vote that he wouldn't be returning to the team.

The 24-year-old is "unlikely" to accept a new deal from the Steelers, according to Bob Labriola of Steelers.com, since the team is barely under the salary cap and it would be difficult to present him with an attractive offer. Pittsburgh has just $6.2 million in cap space, per Over The Cap, even after restructuring quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's contract last week.

Smith-Schuster, who was the team's second-round pick in 2017, totaled 831 yards and nine touchdowns on 97 receptions in 2020, two seasons after earning a Pro Bowl nod with 1,426 yards and seven scores.