Could the Jets Target JuJu Smith-Schuster?

It was well-documented over the weekend that the Steelers do not intend to retain Pro Bowl wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Could the Jets make a run at him with the intent of signing him to an extension? The Jets have lacked a true No. 1 receiver and while JuJu hasn’t fully shown that talent, he has been put under lots of pressure in his career and has been impressive under those circumstances.

There is a big link between the Jets and Smith-Schuster, who knows quarterback Sam Darnold from their days at the Univerisity of Southern California. The former is 23 years old while Darnold is one year younger, making them some of the youngest at their positions and still nowhere near their full potential.

Darnold and Smith-Schuster had a great connection in 2016 when they played together. The wideout played in 13 games, totaling 70 receptions for 914 yards and averaging 13.1 yards per reception while scoring 10 touchdowns. He had a better season in 2015 with Cody Kessler under center but the Trojans fared better as a whole with Darnold at quarterback.

Smith-Schuster and Darnold had a great connection before Darnold was even at the caliber he is at now. That can make team executives dream of what would happen if that connection gets rejuvenated.

New York would also be able to provide some of the best opportunities in the world for Smith-Schuster and his growing social media presence.

It’s also worth noting that a few other Steelers could be on the move. Ed Bouchette of The Athletic speculates that in addition to Smith-Schuster, the team will likely part ways with talented running back James Conner and star offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva after the 2020 season.

Smith-Schuster was given the top job in Pittsburgh after Antonio Brown departed but had a lackluster 2019 campaign. He only played in 12 games, totaling three touchdowns with 42 receptions and 552 yards. His 2018 was better, however, as he was selected to the Pro Bowl as a 21-year-old after putting up 16 games, 111 receptions, 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns as a No. 2 target alongside speedy Antonio Brown.

Smith-Schuster is very young and has accomplished so much; he would be worth a nice price to play alongside former college quarterback Sam Darnold.

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