Last year was a fun time to be JuJu Smith-Schuster. After a solid run in Pittsburgh, Smith-Schuster signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs, who had wanted to sign him the previous offseason. In his first year in Kansas City, Smith-Schuster played a key role on a Super Bowl championship team.
Smith-Schuster is slated to hit free agency for a third straight offseason. If he enters free agency, Smith-Schuster -- who caught 78 passes for 933 yards and three touchdowns last season -- will be one of the top-available receivers. An ideal slot receiver for any offense, the still just 26-year-old Smith-Schuster has caught over 400 passes and nearly 30 touchdowns since being drafted by the Steelers back in 2017.
As we saw in Kansas City, Smith-Schuster is better as a role player than as a primary receiver. He fits best in an already established offenses that could further thrive with his inclusion. While his projected market value is pretty steep (it's currently at four years with annual average of $14.66 million per season, according to Spotrac), it's relatively affordable given his experience and overall skillset, not to mention his infectious, positive spirit that is a positive thing to have in a locker room.
Where will Smith-Schuster end up? Below is our list of the five best fits for the former Pro Bowl wideout.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs plan to bring back Smith-Schuster, according to NFL Media, so it will likely come down to finding the right contract. That shouldn't be an issue given that Smith-Schuster was willing to sign a team friendly deal last offseason.
Smith-Schuster helped the Chiefs execute their new offensive philosophy after trading Tyreek Hill to Miami. While Travis Kelce continued to see a high volume of targets, Patrick Mahomes won league and Super Bowl MVP by being a master distributor. Smith-Schuster did his part by leading all Chiefs receivers in receiving yards while coming up with several big catches in Super Bowl LVII.
Given what he did last season, there's no reason to believe that Smith-Schuster won't be back in Kansas City in 2023.
2. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys' lack of depth at receiver reared its ugly head during Dallas' divisional round playoff loss to the 49ers. Dallas is set to lose more pieces with Noah Brown and Dalton Schultz currently set to enter free agency next week.
Dallas' offense currently features quarterback Dak Prescott, running backs Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott, wideout CeeDee Lamb and a solid offensive line that includes a pair of possible future Hall of Famers. Smith-Schuster would make the Cowboys' offense even more dangerous while helping spread the field for Prescott.
3. San Francisco 49ers
You can't give a young quarterback too many weapons. That should be the 49ers' mindset with Trey Lance slated to reprise his role as starter. In San Francisco, Smith-Schuster would complement an already talented group of skill players that includes George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Christian McCaffrey.
Along with getting a chance to play to play for another title contender, Smith-Schuster would also get the opportunity to play in his home state. A native of Long Beach, Smith-Schuster starred at USC prior to being selected by the Steelers in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
4. Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers already have Mike Wallace, Keenan Allen and Josh Palmer, so why would they need Smith-Schuster? For starters, Williams and Allen missed a combined seven games due to injury. Allen will be 31 before the start of next year, so the Chargers could use an infuse of youth at the position. The Chargers will likely have an opening at the position with DeAndre Carter is set to enter free agency.
Along with getting a chance to play in his home state, Smith-Schuster will get a chance to play with another talented quarterback in Justin Herbert after having already played with Mahomes and Ben Roethlisberger. His presence would make an already explosive Chargers offense even more dangerous.
5. New Orleans Saints
Derek Carr needs more weapons with veterans Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry set to enter free agency. Along with giving Carr a much-needed receiver, Smith-Schuster could serve as the Robin to Chris Olave's Batman.
Smith-Schuster would be asked to do more in New Orleans than on any other team on this list. Should he sign here, Smith-Schuster would have to get acclimate to a new quarterback and a new conference in short order.