The recent news of Ben Roethlisberger re-signing for one more year could mean Juju Smith-Schuster finds his way back on the Pittsburgh Steelers next year. However, with an already deep wide receiver group and a few other needs on the roster, it’s more likely Smith-Schuster signs with a new team during the 2021 NFL free agency.
During last season, Juju put up some impressive numbers. He finished with 97 receptions, 831 yards, and nine touchdowns. His touchdown total is a career-high, but what’s more impressive, Smith-Schuster ended the year with a 75.8% catch percentage, which is also a career-best.
For Smith-Schuster, leaving Pittsburgh might be in his best interest. As I mentioned, the receiver room is crowded with Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool emerging as legitimate passing options.
With that said, four teams stick out as potential landing spots for the 24-year-old receiver. History says he plays much better as a high-end WR2, however, NFL teams may be looking at him as a first-option target for their respective quarterbacks. Here are four potential destinations for Juju Smith-Schuster.
2021 NFL Free Agency: Most Likely Juju Smith-Schuster Destinations
The Miami Dolphins stand out as a prime location for Smith-Schuster. If he signs for the Dolphins he’d immediately become the top receiver on the roster, giving Tua Tagovailoa some solidarity out wide.
Additionally, Miami has the draft capital and cap space to make some noise this offseason. They can easily afford to sign Juju and have plenty of money left over to continue stacking the roster. This should be an interesting 2021 NFL free agency for the Dolphins.
This would be a fantastic situation for the Dolphins. Not only do they solidify their receiving core, but they’d still have the NFL draft to look forward to as well. Miami has an opportunity to build a legitimate offense that could potentially take over the league by storm. However, it all begins with possibly signing Juju Smith-Schuster during the 2021 NFL free agency.
Washington Football Team
After inching their way into the playoffs, the Washington Football Team may have put themselves on the map as a potential contender in the future. The defense is top tier, the offensive line is consistent, and the offense has some valuable weapons in Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson, and Logan Thomas.
For this franchise to take the next step, the front office needs to make some smart decisions heading into the 2021 NFL free agency. Nearly every position is filled on the roster, but they have an opportunity to stack the entire team besides the quarterback position. It’s up in the air whether or not Taylor Heinicke is a starting-caliber quarterback in the league, but this franchise may give him an opportunity next year.
Signing Smith-Schuster would go a long way in generating a dangerous offense for any opposing defense they face. McLaurin would finally have some help running routes, which should relieve some pressure and double-teaming for him in the secondary. Additionally, bringing in Juju gives Washington the freedom to make more luxury picks in the draft. This would be a huge acquisition for Washington during the 2021 NFL free agency.
Not quite a playoff-caliber franchise just yet, but the future of the Jacksonville Jaguars is still bright. They have the most cap space available in the league and have a ton of draft stock as well. Jacksonville has the rare opportunity to re-start with a clean slate. The 2021 NFL free agency is going to be a busy period for the Jaguars.
Jacksonville already has a solid receiving group with DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault, but they could really put the offense over the top by signing Juju Smith-Schuster to the roster. With Trevor Lawrence likely being drafted first overall, giving him a legitimate target will go a long way in his development.
Bringing in Smith-Schuster gives the front office some freedom to focus on other positions of need. Particularly the offensive line and the defense. With that said, expect the Jaguars to be making moves early and often during the 2021 NFL free agency.
New York Jets
With the New York Jets in an interesting position this offseason, this franchise could go anywhere during the 2021 NFL free agency. They still need to deal with their quarterback situation first, as they could be trading Sam Darnold, or potentially drafting a rookie. Either way, this franchise needs to change their ways and actually build a roster this time around.
No matter what New York does at quarterback, signing a receiver like Juju Smith-Schuster is a must for the future success for this organization. Due to the lack of depth, however, Smith-Schuster would likely be the WR1 on this team.
Considering Robert Saleh is a defensive-minded coach, he may opt to focus the draft on that side of the ball. It’d be the same strategy the Carolina Panthers utilized last year, which wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Jets. For that reason, the front office might be aggressive in acquiring offensive players during the 2021 NFL free agency. Signing Juju makes sense for the Jets, as they’re aiming to right the ship after years of distraught.
Thanks for reading my article on Juju Smith-Schuster and his impending 2021 NFL free agency!
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