Star wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was one of the hottest free agents on the market before re-signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier this offseason. Testing the NFL free agency waters before making his decision, the former Pro Bowl wideout chatted with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Apparently, the Chiefs made a pretty strong run at JuJu. In addition to an offer reportedly worth $8 million plus incentives, head coach Andy Reid used a hilarious method to recruit the then free agent.
If he didn’t return to Pittsburgh, JuJu says Kansas City would’ve been his next best option.
“Andy Reid was just calling me and he was sending me Lombardi Trophy pictures, like constantly,” Smith-Schuster said on The Michael Irvin Podcast, via 610 Sports Radio. “We had a good talk, so it would have been KC after the Steelers.
“Like, he texted [Lombardi Trophy pictures] to me while I was trying to make a decision, and you know I have so much respect for him and his team, so yeah.”
Ultimately, Reid’s tactics were futile. Despite receiving better offers from the Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens, who reportedly offered a one-year deal worth $9 million (plus $4 million in incentives), JuJu returned to Pittsburgh on a one-year, $8 million deal.
Selected by the Steelers in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Smith-Schuster’s best year came in 2018 when he logged a career-high 111 receptions and 1,426 yards. Despite a solid regular-season run for Pittsburgh in 2020, the talented young wideout suffered a down year in terms of yards — notching just 831. But, he made up for that loss with a career-high nine touchdown receptions.
With a one-year deal ahead of him, an improved year for JuJu in 2021 could lead to bigger free agency offers in 2022.