Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is slated to hit free agency again this offseason after playing on a one-year deal in 2021.
This season didn't go as Smith-Schuster hoped it would when he reupped with the Steelers last March. The fifth-year pro was lost for the rest of the regular season when he suffered a shoulder injury in Week 5.
Smith-Schuster was able to return for the playoffs, catching five passes for 26 yards in last night's wild card game loss to Kansas City. This afternoon, he released a heartfelt message to Steelers fans, thanking them for their support and reiterating that he'd like to remain with the team for the rest of his career.
"Thank you to the fans and the city for showing me so much love! After the injury, all the love you showered on me kept me going through rehab and through some dark days having to be away from the game and my teammates," Smith-Schuster wrote. "All of the fans and my brothers gave me the strength to stay strong during my rehab and stay positive to hopefully come back early if we made a playoff push, thankfully I was able to do that. The love and support goes so much further than anyone can imagine.
"I’ve said it before and have the same stance: I’d love to be Pittsburgh for life. I hope we can make that happen this offseason and I want to be a part of this franchise’s return to glory."
The Steelers have several personnel decisions to make this offseason, most notably at quarterback. Who does the franchise want to replace Ben Roethlisberger in 2022 and beyond?
Whoever that quarterback will be, Pittsburgh will also have to decide if they want Smith-Schuster to return as a pass catching option for him.