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JuJu Smith-Schuster Denies Seeking a Larger Market Team in Free Agency

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With star wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster a pending free agent, and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the midst of one of their worst salary cap crunches ever, there’s a good chance that he’ll be suiting up in colors other than black and gold in 2021.

But Smith-Schuster strongly denied a report on Wednesday that he’s seeking a higher-profile market in which to play.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported earlier this week that Smith-Schuster sought a larger market team as a free agent destination, something that likely will be afforded him once he hits the open market.

On Wednesday, Smith-Schuster said that simply isn’t true. After SiriusXM Radio host Pat McAfee repeated the Dulac report on Thursday in a clip posted to Twitter, Smith-Schuster denied it.

“Sources tell me this is completely 100% false lol,” Smith-Schuster wrote in response.

The Steelers, who need to clear nearly $40 million in salary just to get to the salary cap figure, are unlikely to have the kind of space that would be required to sign Smith-Schuster, who counted for $1.335 million against their 2020 salary cap and should be in line for a substantial raise as a first-time free agent.

Smith-Schuster said after the Steelers season-ending loss to Cleveland on Sunday that he would “love” to stay in Pittsburgh.

“I built a strong foundation and a strong fan base,” he said. “I love Coach [Mike] Tomlin and Coach Ike [Hilliard], everybody I’ve been around. They’ve helped change the way I am, I love the game of football and I would love to do it again.”

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