2023 Offseason Questions: Will JuJu Smith-Schuster Ever Return To Steelers?

JuJu Smith-Schuster

The Steelers are now in their offseason after failing to reach the playoffs in 2022, coming up just a game short of sneaking in as the seventh seed. They needed help in week 18 and only got some of it, so instead, they sat home and watched the playoffs with the rest of us.

On tap is figuring out how to be on the field in January and February instead of being a spectator. They started out 2-6, digging a hole that proved too deep to dig out of even if they managed to go 7-2 in the second half of the year.

Starting from the end of the regular season and leading all the way up to the beginning of the 2023 season, there are plenty of questions that need answering, starting with who will be the offensive coordinator. Which free agents will be kept? Who might be let go due to their salary? How might they tackle free agency with this new front office? We’ll try to frame the conversation in relevant ways as long as you stick with us throughout this offseason, as we have for many years.

Question: Could JuJu Smith-Schuster ever return to the Steelers?

Steelers fans have mixed feelings watching their former players win championships, recent evidence has shown. That is, of course, because many different types of people are fans, so you wouldn’t expect one universal reaction.

And there hasn’t been anything close to a universal opinion on JuJu Smith-Schuster, the former Steelers wide receiver, since 2018. It’s been a bumpier road since then, but his most recent stop saw him pick up a hefty little ring for himself.

The question is, where’s his next stop—or what holds for his future in general? He spent his first five seasons in Pittsburgh and clearly wasn’t eager to leave. The Kansas City Chiefs, who had already pursued him in 2021, offered him the best deal last year, and the chance to play with Patrick Mahomes after Ben Roethlisberger retired.

But now the Steelers have Kenny Pickett. Would he want to come back? Ever? It’s extremely unlikely the team would even pursue him this offseason given their current cap situation—they would be looking for a cheap slot receiver if anything.

But Smith-Schuster’s still 26 years old. He could have a lot of football left. Might he ever find his way back to Pittsburgh, even if just to finish out his career? The Steelers are not averse to such reunions, especially under Mike Tomlin. I could run down a list if I needed to but I’m sure most regulars are aware of this as a fact.

Yet it hasn’t really happened among wide receivers, has it? Emmanuel Sanders never found his way back, nor did Mike Wallace. I wouldn’t expect James Washington to be walking through the door anytime soon. Yet Smith-Schuster—will he ever wear the black and gold again?

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!