5 pending free agents Steelers shouldn’t bother re-signing

JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

JuJu Smith-Schuster

While JuJu Smith-Schuster has all the traits both on and off the field of an elite receiver, it seems like he and the team are set to part ways this offseason. After an unprecedented start to his career, the past two seasons have shown some of the limits that he has as a player. While part of it was the way the team used him, it isn’t a coincidence that his stats fell so sharply after he became the top option following Antonio Brown’s trade.

That said, the receiving position is full of value and Smith-Schuster should still command top dollar on the market. Unfortunately, that won’t be with the Steelers as his price tag is likely to be at least 16 million a season. The team simply can’t afford that, and even if they could, they should use it to secure a player they would actually use properly. Smith-Schuster was used as a check down running back more so than a receiver. The team can’t afford to pay him or that.

While it will be hard to let such a young talent getaway, the Steelers don’t have many options. Smith-Schuster will get paid well by a team that needs physical threat over the middle. The Steelers have three options they could start if need be, and they have had incredible success drafting receivers. It will tough to let him go, but given the cap issues, there may not be much of a choice in the matter.

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While the Steelers will do whatever they can to retain some of their pending free agents, they will still be forced to watch quite a few walk. It won’t be easy to replace that talent, but they will get by. These five options are as good as gone for various reasons, so fans ought to get used to not seeing them on the team.