5 Steelers players who could be in final year with the team
JuJu Smith-Schuster has been a fan favorite and a budding star since he entered the league in 2017. He came on strong in his rookie year before he really took hold in 2018 with 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns.
The 2019 season was not kind to him, however, when he only caught 42 passes for 552 yards and just three touchdowns. His struggles could be attributed to the quarterback carousel the Steelers endured after the injury to Ben Roethlisberger.
JuJu is entering the final year of his deal and he will need to show up big to get a new deal. He must prove to the Steelers he can be their number one receiver that they can supplement with a supporting cast much like they did with Antonio Brown during his tenure.
The Steelers drafted Chase Claypool this year and expect him to be a contributor on special teams while he learns the offense. He is a big-bodied threat that can help provide a red-zone target in the Steelers offense.
Claypool marks the fourth straight year the Steelers have taken a receiver early in the draft. JuJu was taken in 2017, James Washington in 2018 and Diontae Johnson in 2019.
If JuJu cannot make a jump, the Steelers have a lot of youth in the room that could help fill the void if the team indeed does go a different direction after 2020. The Steelers have been very good about who they choose to pay and who they let walk and JuJu’s 2020 season will be a big deciding factor in what they do with him after his contract expires.