JuJu Smith-Schuster Preferred Chiefs Over Ravens
Before signing Sammy Watkins, the Ravens were one of the teams who reportedly made a strong push for free agent wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Smith-Schuster opted for familiarity, re-signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers on a one-year, $8 million deal, but recently said on the Michael Irvin Podcast that his second choice would have been the Kansas City Chiefs, not the Ravens.
“[Playing for a rival], too, and I’m curious to see how they’re going to be this year having Watkins and how they’re going to use him and throwing the ball and stuff like that,” Smith-Schuster said. “Lamar [Jackson]’s in a really, a heavy run offense with the backs that he has, just point being facts. His No. 1 target was [Mark] Andrews, who’s a tight end. I think, just seeing K.C. and bro, Andy Reid was just calling me and he was sending me Lombardi Trophy pictures like constantly. We had a good talk, so it would’ve been K.C. after the Steelers.”
The Ravens reportedly offered Smith-Schuster a one-year, $9 million with $3.5 million in incentives, the most of any team.
Smith-Schuster said the recruitment from Baltimore started with newly-hired Wide Receivers Coach Tee Martin, who coached Smith-Schuster at USC.
“Martin … ended up going to the Ravens and he reached out and that’s how that process started,” Smith-Schuster said. “Lamar reached out, the head coach called, Marlon Humphrey’s hitting me up. It starts getting serious when the players start texting you and hit you up like, ‘Yo, what’s up, bro? What we doing? Come win.’ All respect to them, and it was cool. But I think with me it’s more so staying home, staying loyal. In my situation, we have a new OC, Ben’s coming back, my relationship with my receiver coach, Ike Hilliard, is amazing. You can’t beat that.”