How can free agency improve Steelers receiving corps without JuJu?

JuJu Smith-Schuster’s shoulder injury has placed the Steelers offense in a tough situation. Will Pittsburgh rely on free agency to help fix their offensive woes?

Injuries play a crucial role in professional sports. When a player experiences an injury, his time away affects the entire team. JuJu Smith-Schuster’s shoulder injury has put the Steelers in a tough position. Pittsburgh’s starting receiver will miss the remainder of the season. As Mike Tomlin and his staff prepare for week six, they must begin to search for a reserve.

JuJu Smith-Schuster has played a vital role in Matt Canada’s offense. The former University of Southern California receiver has played In 63 games since joining the team in 2017. His 11.5 yards per reception has helped Ben Roethlisberger pick defenses apart.

The Steelers fanbase has had the opportunity to see JuJu before their own eyes. Smith-Schuster has developed from a second-round pick to a leader among the receivers group. His presence on the field will be missed in his absence. If the Steelers want to find a veteran leader, they can do so in free agency.

Eligible players that do not play for a team belong to the free agency market. These players are made available to every team in the NFL after negotiation. A Free Agent signing could be the difference between having a losing and winning season.

The Steelers have experienced this firsthand. In 2002, the Steelers acquired James Farrior despite his shortcomings with the New York Jets. His efforts at linebacker helped the Steelers win two Super Bowls. The 2021 free agency market has a handful of players that could give the Steelers similar results.

Veteran leadership wanted in Steelers WR room

Matt Canada’s offense could benefit from the addition of former Baltimore Raven Dez Bryant. Throughout his career, he has shown that he can make big plays in the big moment. According to NFL.com, Bryant has recorded 7,506 yards and 75 touchdowns during his career. A veteran wide receiver could also impact the play of both Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool. The unrestricted free agent will have entered his 11th season and still has a lot to give.

If the Steelers are looking to acquire a downfield threat, Marquise Lee is the man for the job. Lee’s career at the University of Southern California showed NFL scouts the talent that he possessed. His 3,655 yards receiving, and 248 receptions made his draft stock rise. In 2014, Lee was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars. After missing seasons due to injuries, Lee is finally ready to make a return.

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The Steelers will have to consider all options when evaluating the remaining free agents. Gridiron legends like Larry Fitzgerald are still waiting to make a locker room home in 2021. Mike Tomlin and the Steelers must make the right decision to keep their season alive.