Steelers News

JuJu Smith-Schuster Says Farewell To Steelers Fans At Charity Event: ‘I Love You Guys. I Appreciate You Guys’

JuJu Smith-Schuster officially signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on March 20, thus ending a pivotal chapter in his life following five seasons in the NFL as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But he closed an important personal chapter this weekend, as well, as his foundation had a farewell event in Pittsburgh, during which time he had the opportunity to say goodbye to many fans directly.

The ‘Final Farewell to Pittsburgh’ event was held on Sunday, after which he said that he was “Amazed by the turnout”. Yesterday evening, he posted a short farewell video reflecting on the event and his opportunity to spend one last event with his Pittsburgh fans.

“I started here for five years”, he said. “I didn’t expect it to get this crowded. I think what it is is people are seeing it and people are just coming and getting in line. . .Everything moved so fast and I never really had time to say goodbye. This is kind of my going-away goodbye. . .I’m super happy that I still have day-one fans here supporting me, even with me being on a new team”.

“Everyone came out and showed love”, he added. “I appreciate you guys. There was even fans wearing KC stuff. I love you guys. I appreciate you guys”.

A second-round draft pick in 2017 by the Steelers, Smith-Schuster took the city, and the league, by storm, quickly becoming a media darling as he excelled on the field. His sophomore season, he posted 111 receptions for 1,426 yards, and it looked like he was about to take off.

Of course, his career over the past three seasons hasn’t exactly gone the way that 2018 season might have projected, for a number of reasons that largely involve injuries and departures. He missed the majority of his final season in Pittsburgh due to a shoulder injury, as well, returning to participate in the postseason in what proved to be largely a cameo appearance.

Unfortunately for Smith-Schuster, with the negative turn in his production also came a negative correlation with how well many within the fanbase tolerated his personality, and his social media habits. Many were prepared to see him leave in free agency last year, though he would ultimately return for one more season.

It’s not clear what kind of contract the Steelers might have proposed to keep him—and it’s certainly possible that they did try, given that they also lost James Washington and Ray-Ray McCloud, and suddenly found themselves thin at the position—but clearly they weren’t willing to make a significant enough investment to get him to stay.

Instead, they used bargain deals in free agency and the waiver wire and supplemented with George Pickens in the second round and Calvin Austin III in the fourth round during the 2022 NFL Draft. Meanwhile, Smith-Schuster joins Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid (whom he said has ‘Mike Tomlin vibes’), and the Chiefs, where he hopes to resurrect his image as a top wide receiver.

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