Home is where the heart is.
JuJu Smith-Schuster made headlines this offseason, re-signing with the Steelers on a one-year deal, when many thought the wideout and Pittsburgh wouldn’t be in for a reunion.
On Thursday’s “Michael Irvin Podcast,” Smith-Schuster explained why he decided to ink a new contract with Pittsburgh, turning down other, more valuable offers in the process.
Being somewhere in an atmosphere and environment, knowing where the team knows you, they know your history, they know how you are, how to use you and stuff like that,” Smith-Schuster said when asked what drove him to return to the Steelers. “Coming back and knowing that I would have Ben back for one more year and playing my last year, it was just like, ‘Yo, I’m gonna take my chance, I’m gonna play with Ben.’ …
Being home with the Steelers is the best. It’s ideal just for me, you know. I think what really people didn’t get to see a lot is later in my career, because I dealt with injuries, I played mainly slot. And coming back and playing outside more this year and showing people that I can be a No. 1 and having Ben back healthy and me being healthy and just having the team that we have.
Smith-Schuster also explained that despite Ravens players recruiting him to Baltimore, the offense wasn’t a fit for him, with their run-heavy attack a turn-off for him, feeling that he wouldn’t get the opportunities with Baltimore like he would with Ben Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh.
Smith-Schuster also said that he had productive conversations with the Chiefs, saying that Kansas City would have been the fallback option had his deal with Pittsburgh not come through.
He revealed that head coach Andy Reid sent him photos of the Lombardi trophy as he was in the final stages of making a decision.
The 24-year-old reportedly turned down better deals from the Chiefs and Ravens to return to Pittsburgh, but there’s nothing like some good ol’ home cooking.