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#pounditFriday, July 30, 2021

Articles tagged: Juju Smith-Schuster

JuJu Smith-Schuster reveals why he could not sign with Ravens

JuJu Smith-Schuster

After being courted by other teams, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster ultimately returned to the Pittsburgh Steelers on a one-year contract. Based on some recent comments, it sounds like the decision was a fairly simple one.

Smith-Schuster was pursued by the Kansas City Chiefs and, perhaps surprisingly, the Baltimore Ravens in free agency. The Ravens and Steelers are noted rivals, and that played a role in Smith-Schuster’s decision to turn down Baltimore.

“I already knew if I went to the Ravens, fans would destroy me,” Smith-Schuster said, via Claudette Montana Pattison of FanNation.

Smith-Schuster definitely thinks about his place with Steelers fans, and it was obviously a concern for him. It was so important, in fact, that he actually took less money to return to Pittsburgh. Plus, he had to push aside this fantastic recruiting pitch from the Chiefs.

One former Steeler did end up joining the Ravens during the offseason. Based on comments he made after signing, it’s pretty clear that his priorities are a bit different than Smith-Schuster’s.

JuJu Smith-Schuster reflects on infamous comment that motivated Browns

JuJu Smith-Schuster

The end of JuJu Smith-Schuster’s 2020 season was one to forget. The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver seemed to constantly be motivating his opponents whether he intended to or not.

The most notable example of this came before the Steelers’ AFC Wild Card game against the Cleveland Browns. Smith-Schuster infamously dismissed the opponents, stating that “the Browns is the Browns” and shrugging off the threat from them. The comment was seized upon by Browns players and fans, and looked particularly bad for Smith-Schuster after Cleveland’s 48-37 win.

Smith-Schuster reflected on the comment recently, and said while he was aware it motivated the Browns, he didn’t have any regrets.

“Probably a lot, honestly,” Smith-Schuster said on “PFT PM” when asked how much the remark motivated the Browns, via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk. “I’m not going to lie to you. It got to a point where the Cleveland Browns had a billboard up in Cleveland that said, ‘The Browns is the Browns.’ I think by me saying that, it says that a lot of people care about what I say.

“At the end of the day, I said what I said. I don’t take anything back. They did come out there, they did whoop our a–. It is what it is. We lost that game. We lost early in that game in the first five, 10 minutes.”

Credit to Smith-Schuster for owning it, because he’s definitely correct about it being a motivating factor. While he may have no regrets, he may want to be a bit more careful about handing opponents bulletin board material in the future. It went wrong for him a lot in 2020.

Ex-Steelers lineman takes apparent shot at JuJu Smith-Schuster after signing with Ravens

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva signed with the division rival Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday, and he’s already adding some life to the rivalry between the two teams.

Villanueva took an apparent shot at former teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster when discussing how he preferred to block for run-heavy teams like the Ravens instead of ones more focused on passing.

Without naming names, it sure sounds like Villanueva is taking a shot at Smith-Schuster, who made it a habit of dancing on the opposing team’s logo last season and posting the video on TikTok. That eventually stopped when opponents began using it as motivational material.

The quote probably won’t go unnoticed in Pittsburgh. As division rivals, the Steelers and Ravens will meet twice in 2021, and those matchups might be a little more heated than usual at this rate.

Andy Reid had awesome way of recruiting JuJu Smith-Schuster

JuJu Smith-Schuster

JuJu Smith-Schuster turned down offers from several teams before he re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Kansas City Chiefs were one of those teams, and it sounds like Andy Reid really wanted the star wide receiver.

Smith-Schuster revealed on the “Michael Irvin Podcast” this week that he would have signed with the Chiefs if he chose to leave Pittsburgh. Part of the reason for that was the enthusiasm with which Reid recruited him. One of the methods Reid used was to repeatedly send Smith-Schuster photos of the Lombardi Trophy.

“I think, just seeing K.C. and bro, Andy Reid was just calling me and he was sending me Lombardi Trophy pictures like constantly,” Smith-Schuster said, via NFL.com’s Nick Shook. “We had a good talk, so it would’ve been K.C. after the Steelers.

“Like texted it to me while I was trying to make a decision and I have so much respect for him and his team.”

The Baltimore Ravens were another team that pursued Smith-Schuster, but he said he didn’t feel comfortable signing with a rival and was concerned about what his role would be in their offense.

Smith-Schuster feels like he has unfinished business with the Steelers. He turned down these better offers from other teams to remain in Pittsburgh, so he obviously enjoys playing there. The fact that he resisted Reid’s trophy photos and the allure of playing with Patrick Mahomes says a lot.

Chiefs fans, you’ll love this Andy Reid cheeseburger shirt. Reid loves his cheeseburgers, and you can wear it. This makes a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.

JuJu Smith-Schuster turned down these better deals to re-sign with Steelers

JuJu Smith-Schuster

The Pittsburgh Steelers have already lost several key players in free agency, but JuJu Smith-Schuster is not going anywhere.

Smith-Schuster has re-signed with the Steelers on a one-year deal. The star wide receiver confirmed he is staying with the team by sharing a funny video on Twitter.

The contract is worth $8 million, according to multiple reports. Many were surprised to hear that Smith-Schuster didn’t land a multi-year deal, but apparently he turned at least one down. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Philadelphia Eagles offered Smith-Schuster a multi-year contract.

Other teams also reportedly offered more lucrative one-year contracts than the Steelers.

We know of at least one other AFC team that expressed interest in Smith-Schuster, so it sounds like his preference was to remain in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers drafted Smith-Schuster in the second round in 2017. He has spent the last four seasons with the team. He has not met his stellar production from the 2018 season, when he had a career-high 111 catches, 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns. Part of the reason for his lower numbers the last two seasons is his changed role in Pittsburgh’s offense.

Smith-Schuster was far more productive when Antonio Brown was the No. 1 receiving option in Pittsburgh. He also caused some issues for the Steelers last season, which may have hurt his free agent value a bit.

Report: JuJu Smith-Schuster drawing interest from this AFC team

JuJu Smith-Schuster

The New York Jets made a big splash this week when they signed Corey Davis to a three-year deal, but they may not be done bolstering their wide receiver corps.

The Jets have been in talks with JuJu Smith-Schuster and are interested in signing the former Pittsburgh Steelers star, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

Smith-Schuster seems unlikely to return to Pittsburgh, as he has reportedly been telling teammates he expects to sign elsewhere. However, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported on Thursday that the Steelers have not ruled out re-signing Smith-Schuster.

Sam Darnold was Smith-Schuster’s quarterback for a season at USC, so that may be a factor in the Jets’ interest if they are planning to keep Darnold.

The Steelers drafted Smith-Schuster in the second round in 2017. He has spent the last four seasons with the team. He has not met his stellar production from the 2018 season, when he had a career-high 111 catches, 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns. Part of the reason for his lower numbers the last two seasons is his changed role in Pittsburgh’s offense.

Smith-Schuster was far more productive when Antonio Brown was the No. 1 receiving option in Pittsburgh. He also caused some issues for the Steelers last season, which could hurt his free agent value a bit.

JuJu Smith-Schuster telling teammates he is going to leave Steelers?

JuJu Smith-Schuster

JuJu Smith-Schuster apparently is reading the proverbial writing on the wall in Pittsburgh.

Smith-Schuster is telling teammates he is likely to sign in free agency, according to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo.

The Steelers drafted Smith-Schuster in the second round in 2017. He has spent the last four seasons with the team. He has not met his stellar production from the 2018 season, when he had a career-high 111 catches, 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns. Part of the reason for his lower numbers the last two seasons is his changed role in Pittsburgh’s offense.

The Steelers seemed to signal Smith-Schuster’s likely departure by drafting Chase Claypool last year.

Though Smith-Schuster is productive, he also caused lots of issues for the Steelers, which should be a concern for interested teams.

The 24-year-old had 97 catches for 831 yards and nine touchdowns last season. We know of one AFC team that reportedly has interest in him.

JuJu Smith-Schuster has funny response to DeAndre Hopkins recruiting JJ Watt

JuJu Smith-Schuster

DeAndre Hopkins has joined the growing list of NFL stars who want to play with JJ Watt next season, but one fellow wide receiver is openly competing with the Arizona Cardinals star.

Hopkins, who was teammates with Watt in Houston for several years, shared an image on Instagram Tuesday that showed Watt photoshopped in a Cardinals jersey. He captioned it “Let’s finish what we started…”

JuJu Smith-Schuster was one of the first to comment on the post. He made his own recruiting pitch to Watt, telling the three-time Defensive Player of the Year to “come play with your brothers lol.”

Watt’s younger brothers TJ and Derek both play for the Steelers. TJ already sent the perfect GIF after JJ was released last week, and it goes without saying that Pittsburgh is in the running.

Watt wants to play for a contender next season, and it’s tough to tell if the Cardinals are going to be one. Some of the other star players who have recruited Watt play for teams that had better results in 2020, so Hopkins may need to rely on that personal connection if he wants to reunite with his former teammate.

Report: JuJu Smith-Schuster likely to receive interest from this team

JuJu Smith-Schuster

JuJu Smith-Schuster is likely to attract significant interest in free agency, and one team already appears to have some interest.

The Las Vegas Raiders are expected to be “very interested” in Smith-Schuster, according to ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton.

The Raiders have not been shy about pursuing former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers in recent years. They took chances on both Martavis Bryant and Antonio Brown, neither of which worked out that well. Smith-Schuster should be a much safer bet.

Smith-Schuster caught 97 passes for 831 yards and a career-high nine touchdowns for the Steelers last season. If the Raiders want to attract him, they may want to keep these comments of his in mind as part of their recruiting pitch.

Kareem Hunt trolls JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers with autograph

JuJu Smith-Schuster

JuJu Smith-Schuster was trolled seemingly nonstop as the Pittsburgh Steelers limped toward the end of their season, and that has continued even after they were eliminated from the playoffs.

Cleveland Browns players mocked Smith-Schuster over his dancing antics as they were putting a beating on the Steelers Sunday night. Kareem Hunt has decided to keep that going. On Tuesday, the Browns running back signed a piece of memorabilia for a fan and wrote “Corvette Corvette” and “clapped ’em.”

Smith-Schuster made headlines during the regular season when he broke out his “Corvette Corvette” dance on opposing teams’ logos prior to games. He eventually stopped doing it when he realized it was bringing negative attention to the Steelers, but Browns players still used it to mock him on Sunday. You can see the video here.

Then, after the Steelers lost, rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool still talked trash about the Browns by saying they’re going to get “clapped” by the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round. That is likely what Hunt was referencing when he wrote “clapped ’em” as part of his autograph.

Smith-Schuster may not have antagonized the Browns with his dancing, but he found another way to give them bulletin-board material leading up to the Wild Card showdown. You can’t blame Hunt and others for refusing to let it go.