Apparently there has been an unsourced rumor floating around the last few days that the San Francisco 49ers recently called and checked on the trade availability of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. I’m not sure how such a crazy and unbelievable rumor even started, but it evidently circulated enough that two media members have now publicly squashed it. Those two media members are Judy Battista of the NFL Network and Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
It’s quite funny that a rumor such as this one grew legs so quickly. First, the 49ers would be crazy to trade for Smith-Schuster with one year left on his rookie contract unless they were prepared to give him a huge contract after acquiring him or placing the franchise tag on him after the 2020 season.
At the very least, acquiring Smith-Schuster would have cost the 49ers their 31st overall pick in this year’s draft. The 49ers are scheduled to pick 13th and 31st in the first-round of the 2020 NFL Draft and their next pick of their five remaining currently scheduled selections isn’t until the fifth-round.
The Steelers would also be foolish to trade Smith-Schuster even though this year’s draft class is deep at the wide receiver position. While Smith-Schuster did have a down 2019 season due to his own injuries and the team losing starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger early in the season due to injury, there’s no reason to think he won’t bounce back in 2020.
The Steelers selected Smith-Schuster in the second-round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of USC and since then he’s registered 211 receptions for 2,895 yards and 17 touchdowns in 42 regular season games played in. Smith-Schuster missed four games during the 2019 season due to a knee injury.
If you believed the previous circulating rumor about Smith-Schuster, rest easy Wednesday night knowing that the Steelers young wide receiver isn’t going anywhere.