4 Steelers free agents who will get more money than they deserve this offseason

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) /
1 of 4

The Steelers have a plethora of free agents who will soon hit the open market, but here are four who won’t be worth their weight in gold. 

So far, things have worked out about as well as they could have for the Steelers this offseason – considering the circumstances. Ben Roethlisberger’s return gives Pittsburgh at least a fighting chance to compete in the 2021 season, and his willingness to take a pay cut and reduce his salary certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed.

While the cap situation is clearly tight, the final number is going to come in higher than the original predicted cap floor, and the Steelers are dealing with a positive cap situation for the first time since the offseason started. According to Over the Cap, Pittsburgh has just over $5 million in cap space.

Unfortunately, retaining much of their talent isn’t going to come easy and there are plenty of names who will be singing contracts elsewhere this season. From a business standpoint, Pittsburgh knows what they are doing, and they typically have a pretty good grasp of which players are worth forking up massive contracts to. Here are four players who will get more money than they deserve in free agency:

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

You can try to convince yourself otherwise, but JuJu Smith-Schuster is not coming back to the Steelers in 2021; I just don’t see any way they can make this happen. In theory, Pittsburgh could offer him a deal that keeps his cap hit low for the upcoming season and pushes much of his money into the future, but would they ever consider doing something like this?

Plaxico Burress, Antwaan Randle El, Santonio Holmes, Mike Wallace, and Emmanuel Sanders are all players who were one-contract-and-done after being drafted by the Steelers, and I certainly don’t believe that JuJu belongs in a class above these guys. With Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin set to earn the franchise tag, JuJu becomes one of the most highly-coveted receivers that will hit the market.

Some team out there with loads of cap space will be willing to throw $16 million per season his direction, but he’s clearly just a WR2 in the NFL. I’m not sure if he can live up to the contract he will earn with a new team on his next deal.