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JuJu Smith-Schuster Makes Big Free Agency Decision

JuJu Smith-Schuster on the field for the Steelers.

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 22: JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts during the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on November 22, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Steelers won 27-3. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

JuJu Smith-Schuster had the chance to sign with some major franchises for more money than his current team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, were offering. Even so, he's electing to stay home.

Smith-Schuster was taken in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Steelers, who are well known for their ability to identify and develop wide receiver talent. He broke out in a huge way in his second year, catching 111 passes for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018.

He struggled to maintain that production with Ben Roethlisberger out in 2019. This year, he flew under the radar a bit, catching 97 passes for 831 yards and a career-high nine touchdowns.

Moments ago, it was reported that Smith-Schuster will return for another year with the Steelers. He has signed a one-year, $8 million deal to remain with the team.

While the wide receiver market hasn't been great this year, he had some other very intriguing options. Per Taylor Bisciotti of the NFL Network, JuJu Smith-Schuster turned down bigger offers from both the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs, which had more guaranteed money and/or potential incentives that could have driven the deal into eight-digit range.

Instead, he'll prove that he's still a top-flight wide receiver, and team back up with Roethlisberger, who is also returning for another go-around with the Steelers. Those other options are as intriguing as it gets. The Ravens, a hated rival of the Pittsburgh Steelers, have been looking to add a top flight receiver for former MVP Lamar Jackson. With Kansas City, he could have joined a Super Bowl favorite, and played alongside Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce, adding to one of the most dangerous offenses in NFL history. At the same time, you have to respect someone enjoying where he is and trying to build on that situation. It doesn't hurt that Juju Smith-Schuster will hit free agency again in a year, with the potential for a big salary cap spike after the NFL's recent huge media rights deal. [

Sources tell me these were the other offers

KC 8 mill with 3 mill incentives
Steelers 8 mill
Baltimore 9 mill 4 incentives

— Taylor Bisciotti (@TaylorBisciotti) March 19, 2021

">Taylor Bisciotti]

Update: Adam Schefter says the Philadelphia Eagles were also a potential spot for JuJu Smith-Schuster.

He will enter his fifth year with the Steelers this fall.