On Friday, it was announced that the Kansas City Chiefs were signing former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to a one-year contract with a total value of $10.75 million. Later that evening we found out that the base value of that one-year deal is much lower than $10.75 million. On Saturday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk released some numbers related to the contract.
According to Florio, Smith Schuster’s one-year deal has a base value of $3.25 million, only $2.49 million fully guaranteed at signing. He reportedly gets a signing bonus of $1.455 million and a fully-guaranteed base salary of $1.035 million. The rest of Smith-Schuster’s base package includes a workout bonus of $250,000 and per-game roster bonuses up to $510,000.
Florio went on to report that the other money in Smith-Schuster’s deal includes $7.5 million worth of incentives and that $2 million of that is likely tied to the Chiefs at least getting to the AFC Championship in 2022.
Judging by what Smith-Schuster’s mother posted on Instagram on Saturday, the Steelers didn’t make an effort to re-sign her son. Maybe they just didn’t make an effort to beat the deal the Chiefs offered. The Steelers do not like to do contracts that include incentives for non-quarterbacks, and that has been the case for several years. The only time you see them with players on their roster who have contracts that include incentives is when they acquire said players via trades.
Smith-Schuster had bad luck in 2021 after re-signing a one-year $8 million contract a year ago. A shoulder injury in Week 5 essentially wrecked Smith-Schuster’s 2021 season. While the Steelers former second-round draft pick out of USC was ultimately able to return from the Reserve/Injured list to play in the team’s Super Wild Card game, those missed games during the regular season were impactful to his market value this offseason.
In total, and not including the playoff game, Smith-Schuster logged 222 offensive snaps in the five contests that he played in before suffering his shoulder injury. In those five games, Smith-Schuster registered all of 15 receptions for 129 yards and no touchdowns. He did have one rushing touchdown and nine yards on three total carries, however.
Smith-Schuster will likely meet the media in Kanas City on Monday. If he does, it will be interesting to see if he’s asked about the Steelers, specifically if they made any effort to re-sign him.