Despite a significant crunch, the Steelers were able to find room under the salary cap to bring back wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster on a one-year contract.
Smith-Schuster had been steadfast throughout the process in saying that he wanted to return to Pittsburgh, but once he hit the open market, the really of playing for another team was something that he was forced to consider.
That meant listening to pitches from other teams, including an entertaining one from the Kansas City Chiefs.
On The Michael Irvin Podcast this week, Smith-Schuster said that Chiefs coach Andy Reid had been wooing him by sending photos of Kansas City’s 2019 Lombardi Trophy. The pitch apparently worked, as Smith-Schuster said the Chiefs would have been his second choice.
“Andy Reid was just calling me and he was sending me Lombardi Trophy pictures, like constantly,” Smith-Schuster said. “We had a good talk, so it would have been KC after the Steelers.”
Smith-Schuster will earn $8 million in his contract with the Steelers, with four voidable years tacked on to lower his salary cap hit to $2.4 million in 2021. He’ll leave a $5.6 million dead cap in 2022, whether he re-signs with the Steelers or plays elsewhere.