NFL free agency is underway, and things appear to be heating up for unrestricted free agent JuJu Smith-Schuster.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, “The Jets have been having conversations” with the wide receiver.
Smith-Schuster, 24, has finished his rookie contract with the Steelers and expressed interest in both returning to Pittsburgh and talking with other teams. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports the Steelers “haven’t closed the door on a return and have [remained] engaged in the situation the last few days.”
Losing Smith-Schuster, a second-round pick in the 2017 draft, would be a huge hit for the Steelers. He had a breakout 2018 season when he caught 111 passes for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns and earned a Pro Bowl invitation. In 2020 he finished with 97 catches, 831 yards and nine touchdowns.
Last week, Steelers.com’s Bob Labriola wrote that Smith-Schuster is “unlikely to want to accept what the cap-strapped Steelers would be able to pay him on a new contract.” Pittsburgh has already lowered its cap hit by $15 million by restructuring quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s contract recently. With the quarterback accepting a lower deal, the franchise could point to Roethlisberger’s decision to try to talk other players into doing the same.
The Jets recently boosted their receiving corps by agreeing to a three-year, $37.5 million contract with former Titans wide receiver Corey Davis.
Check out the latest NFL news and rumors below:
- Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin has signed his $15.9 million franchise tender, locking it in for 2021 in case he does not get a long-term deal (Adam Schefter, ESPN)
- The Broncos and RB Phillip Lindsay have mutually decided to part ways, rescinding the club’s restricted-free-agent tender and making Lindsay an unrestricted free agent (Announcement from Lindsay’s agent, Mike McCartney)
- Longtime Patriots safety Patrick Chung announced his retirement from the NFL.
- The Giants will sign veteran Mike Glennon as a backup quarterback (Ian Rapoport, NFL Network)
- Colts free-agent LB Anthony Walker is visiting Cleveland on Thursday. (Adam Schefter, ESPN)
- The Texans will release veteran TE Darren Fells. (Ian Rapoport, NFL Network)
- The Patriots are trading TE Ryan Izzo to the Texans for a seventh-round pick in 2022. (Tom Pelissero, NFL Network)
- The Chargers have agreed to a one-year, $6 million deal with TE Jared Cook. (Adam Schefter, ESPN)
- Allen Robinson officially accepted his franchise tag with the Bears, amounting to $18 million. (Ian Rapoport, NFL Network)
- San Francisco signed center Alex Mack to a three-year deal. (Nick Wagoner, ESPN)
- Breshad Perriman will join the Lions, the team his dad starred for. (Michael Rothstein, ESPN)
- Denver is expected to make a strong push for Kyle Fuller when his release is official. (Mike Garafolo, NFL Network)
- The Patriots have reached an agreement to retain center David Andrews. (Kim Jones, NFL Network)