JuJu Smith-Schuster is at a crossroads. At age 22, he was the youngest player in NFL history to reach 2500 receiving yards. Now at age 25, things have cooled off. You could argue, JuJu was hit with some bad “juju” lately, in terms of luck. Now the question is, what’s happening with JuJu?
Since the departure of teammate Antonio Brown, JuJu hasn’t lived up to expectations. The past two seasons JuJu’s dealt with injuries and a diminishing role due to the play of Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool.
The former second-round pick out of USC now finds himself as the odd man out in Pittsburgh. He played the 2021 season on a one-year contract and will be looking for long-term security this time around.
JuJu’s ability to make contested catches is better than advertised. He’s exceptional at the catch point. He has surprising breakaway speed that flashes every time the ball is in his hands. At 6’1 210 pounds, JuJu Smith-Schuster is a physical receiver that can also impact the run game. He’s a tough willing blocker that loves his teammates.
A player like JuJu will be a great addition to any team. Here are three teams that should consider adding Juju this offseason.
Options For JuJu Smith-Schuster
The Chicago Bears are in desperate need of offensive weapons. The offense will presumably build around their franchise quarterback Justin Fields. They are expecting to be without their top wideout in Allen Robinson. Without Robinson, the team will turn to Darnell Mooney who’s already shown tremendous chemistry with Fields. Mooney has potential, but he is not enough.
The Bear’s offense struggled to find consistency in Field’s first season. There are many reasons for the struggles but a lack of talent and depth was a component. The team finished the season third-worst in passing yards per game according to ESPN.
We all know the best friend to a young Quarterback is a run game and a short passing game. Adding JuJu to this offense will give the Bears a solid underneath option to rely on. With $25 million in cap space according to OverTheCap, the Bears should be aggressive when free agency begins.
The Indianapolis Colts have one of the better rosters in the NFL. The team underachieved in 2021 prompting ownership to search for a new Quarterback. While the Quarterback position gets all the attention, they’ll also be looking for additional receiver help.
Outside of Michael Pittman, the Colts don’t have another receiving threat. Colts finished the season near the bottom in passing with 197 yards per game according to ESPN, not good enough for management.
Bringing in a player like JuJu Smith-Schuster would immediately impact Colt’s offense. His run blocking and tough nose attitude exemplify the Indy culture. He already has ties with his former USC college teammate Michael Pittman. Pairing the two together in the NFL could be a scary tandem no one expected!
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are the most likely landing spot for Smith-Shuster this offseason. They nearly acquired his services last offseason before he returned to Pittsburgh. This time around both parties should be equally as interested.
The Chiefs offense has been searching for a third receiving threat behind the big two of Travis Kelce and Tyrek Hill. JuJu would add another weapon to work the middle of the field. He also adds another versatile playmaker coach Reid can scheme up plays for.
With the Chiefs being annual Superbowl contenders and clearly searching for more offensive help, (the team whiffed on recent signings like Josh Gordon) adding JuJu this offseason should be a priority.