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Ex-Steelers LB is Open to a JuJu Smith-Schuster Reunion



Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

The Pittsburgh Steelers were reportedly unable to come to an agreement with Tyler Boyd, so it appears that they’ll just have to bolster the wide receiver position through the draft.

A trade for Brandon Aiyuk could still be on the table. But how about a trade for former Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster? Given Smith-Schuster’s down year and knee issues it probably would only cost the Steelers an additional sixth-round pick. It seems like a very unlikely proposition, but former Steelers outside linebacker Arthur Moats would be open to it.

“I’m definitely on that train,” Moats said when his co-host Deke brought up the possibility of Smith-Schuster coming back. “He’s still under contract in New England, (though).”

Smith-Schuster won a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2022 and was a productive receiver for Patrick Mahomes, but things went downhill with the New England Patriots in 2023. He recorded just 29 receptions for 260 yards (9.0 average) and one touchdown in 11 games last season. Smith-Schuster had his best game of the year against the Steelers with four receptions for 90 yards (22.5 average). His quarterback was Mac Jones for most of the year also, so that can’t be overlooked.

The big caveat with Smith-Schuster is his knee, however. It very well could be shot. During an appearance on NBC Sports Boston last August, Sports Illustrated NFL insider Albert Breer cast doubt on the long-term viability of Schuster and specifically his knee.

“The underrated story here: JuJu Smith Schuster’s knee is a mess, and that thing could explode at any point,” Breer said. “So, you almost have to keep an extra receiver because of that.”

Smith-Schuster said the report was false and claimed that Breer was just “trying to find a story.”

“I don’t think my knee is a ticking time bomb,” he told Mass Live’s Karen Guregian. “If anything, it’s something that’s getting stronger every day.”

Smith-Schuster’s knee held up in 2023, but he didn’t have the same explosiveness.

“The knee is real. The knee is real, bro,” Moats said. “I just don’t like that knee part. That would do it.”

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is also worried about Smith-Schuster’s knee.

“I like JuJu, but too many injuries and probably not the No. 2 receiver ideally they would like,” Dulac wrote in his recent online chat when asked if the Steelers would trade for Smith-Schuster.

Smith-Schuster is only 27, but the knee issue is something that has to be accounted for. A trade is very unlikely. And even if the Patriots end up cutting him, that would present a major red flag in regard to his health if the Steelers had an interest.