While a lot of teams were reportedly interested in signing wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, the Pittsburgh Steelers got him back. But not before Smith-Schuster was faced with a difficult choice.
According to ProFootballTalk, the Steelers were one of the two finalists that Smith-Schuster chose between. The other was the AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens.
Per the report, the Ravens actually made Smith-Schuster the better salary offer. They offered a one-year, $9 million deal with $3.5 million in incentives while the Steelers’ offer was one year for $8 million.
Other teams did their best to try and land Smith-Schuster too. The New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles were all reported as interested teams in some form.
This time of year, plenty of players and agents claim a player took less to stay with his current team. In JuJu Smith-Schuster's case, it's true. https://t.co/suGGwxWeht
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 19, 2021
If nothing else, Pittsburgh Steelers fans have to be relieved that they were able to keep JuJu Smith-Schuster away from a division rival. The Baltimore Ravens have been a thorn in their side for years, and would only have gotten better by taking their top receiver from them.
Smith-Schuster has 308 receptions for 3,726 yards and 26 touchdowns since going 62nd overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. He made the Pro Bowl in 2018 after a career-high 111 receptions for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns.
But in the two years that followed, injuries and inconsistency kept Smith-Schuster from reaching it again.
The deal Smith-Schuster signed largely amounts to a prove-it deal. He should be in line for a huge extension in 2022 if he has a great season this coming year.