The team selecting a receiver in this year’s NFL Draft only fueled the Pittsburgh Steelers rumors that JuJu Smith-Schuster will be gone after next season.
After his first two seasons with the team, JuJu Smith-Schuster appeared to be on his way to becoming one of the best Pittsburgh Steelers to ever put on the black and gold.
But then a 2019 campaign filled with injuries and struggles happened and now Smith Schuster’s future with the Steelers past the upcoming season appears to be in more doubt than it ever has before.
Not helping the rumors of him leaving after 2020 disappear was Pittsburgh’s decision to select one of the top receivers in this year’s NFL Draft. The Steelers used a second-round pick on former Notre Dame pass-catcher Chase Claypool on Saturday and some believe the writing is now on the wall for Smith-Schuster to depart from the team after next season.
Someone who is adamant about this happening is the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Mark Madden. Following Pittsburgh’s decision to draft Claypool this year, Madden recently stated, “JuJu is not going to be on the (Steelers) next year no matter what.”
Madden isn’t the first person in the Pittsburgh media to have these thoughts about Smith-Schuster. A few weeks ago, The Athletic’s Ed Bouchette predicted that the Steelers would let the veteran receiver hit free agency in 2021 when his contract with the team runs out.
A decision on Smith-Schuster’s future with Pittsburgh might be harder to make if he comes out next season and gets back to playing like he did in 2018. Still, with the Steelers using a top draft pick on a new receiver this year, it probably doesn’t matter how well Smith-Schuster performs next season.
A lot can change between now and the end of the 2020 season, so for now, these are just rumors. But with them being stated by multiple people who are very familiar with the franchise, Pittsburgh fans shouldn’t toss this rumor aside just yet.