JuJu Smith-Schuster
Love him or hate him, Juju Smith-Schuster made it extremely clear that he wants to stay with the Pittsburgh Steelers and retire as a Steeler. (Justin K. Aller/Getty)

The Pittsburgh Steelers will look a lot different in 2021 than they did in 2020. From Maurkice Pouncey retiring to the Big Ben Roethlisberger era beginning to enter the final chapter, it will be an offseason of change for this franchise. Another change that seems to be coming is Juju Smith-Schuster. The former second-round pick out of USC is set to become a free agent when the new league year starts, but he doesn’t want that to change.

In recent comments to TMZ, Smith-Schuster said the following:

At the end of the day, I want to have my legacy in Pittsburgh and retire there. I don’t want to leave.

Juju Smith-Schuster’s comments to TMZ

When asked if he could see himself playing for the Rams or Chargers in 2021, Juju doubled down and said this:

Not right now. Until I actually get let go, other than that, I’m Pittsburgh for life.

Juju Smith-Schuster in a recent TMZ interview

It sounds like if the Steelers present Smith-Schuster with a contract extension up to market value, he’ll sign without hesitation. The Pittsburgh Steelers have a busy offseason ahead of them. From finding ways to resign free agents to digging themselves out of salary cap hell, this will be a defining offseason for the franchise.

Smith-Schuster has had an interesting career. He was solid as a rookie, with 58 catches for 917 yards and seven touchdowns. It seems like he peaked in 2018, piling up 111 receptions for 1,426 yards and seven receiving touchdowns. 2019 was a down year due to injury and a quarterback situation of Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges. 2020 saw a career-high nine receiving touchdowns, but a career-low of 8.6 yards per reception. Smith-Schuster is only 24 years old and has four full seasons of NFL experience, he’s so young and experienced that there’s value in that. Yet the blessing of being extremely young also comes with the curse as well. We may have seen Smith-Schuster become a diva right in front of our eyes.

Whether the Steelers re-sign Juju Smith-Schuster or not remains to be seen. Pittsburgh can draft and develop wide receivers better than anyone else in the league. Diontae Johnson is a stud from the third round and Chase Claypool was found in the second. James Washington is no slouch either, he’d easily be a wide receiver two for a few teams in the NFL. Smith-Schuster. It would make perfect sense if the Steelers didn’t offer a contract to Smith-Schuster, they have options elsewhere.