JuJu Smith-Schuster bids farewell to Steelers fans at charity event: ‘I love you guys’. I appreciate you guys
JuJu Smith-Schuster officially signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on March 20, ending a crucial chapter in his life after five seasons in the NFL as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But he also closed an important personal chapter this weekend, as his foundation hosted a farewell event in Pittsburgh, where he had the opportunity to say goodbye directly to many fans.
The “Final Farewell to Pittsburgh” event took place on Sunday, after which he said he was “amazed by the turnout.” Last night he posted a short farewell video reflecting on the event and his opportunity to have one last event with his Pittsburgh fans.
“I started here for five years,” he says. “I didn’t expect there to be so many people. I think what it is is people see it and people just come and line up. . .It all happened so fast and I never really had time to say goodbye. It’s kind of my starting farewell. . “I’m super happy to still have day one fans here to support me, even though I’m on a new team.”
“Everyone came out and showed love,” he added. “I like you guys. There were even fans wearing KC stuff. I like you. I like you guys”.
Thank you Pitt for the amazing time at the Charity Farewell event! pic.twitter.com/PqpHEjrnzo
— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) June 14, 2022
A 2017 second-round pick by the Steelers, Smith-Schuster took the city and the league by storm, quickly becoming a media darling as he excelled on the court. His sophomore season he posted 111 receptions for 1,426 yards, and it looked like he was about to take off.
Of course, his career over the past three seasons hasn’t exactly gone to plan for the 2018 season, for a number of reasons that largely involve injuries and departures. He also missed the majority of his final season in Pittsburgh with a shoulder injury, returning to playoff contention in what turned out to be largely a cameo appearance.
Unfortunately for Smith-Schuster, the negative turn in her production also negatively correlated with how well many fans tolerated her personality and social media habits. Many were ready to see him go to free agency last year, although he would eventually return for one more season.
It’s unclear what kind of contract the Steelers might have offered to keep him – and it’s certainly possible they tried, given they also lost James Washington and Ray-Ray McCloud, and suddenly found themselves skinny to the job – but it’s clear they weren’t willing to make a big enough investment to keep him.
Instead, they used free agency deal deals and the waiver wire and completed with George Pickens in the second round and Calvin Austin III in the fourth round in the 2022 NFL Draft. Meanwhile, Smith- Schuster joins Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid (whom he said has “Mike Tomlin vibes”) and the Chiefs, where he hopes to resurrect his wide receiver image.