KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs made an effort to land wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster during free agency a year ago, but the club didn’t let him get away a second time, agreeing to terms Friday with the 25-year-old wideout.
Smith-Schuster succinctly confirmed the news on social media, tweeting “#ChiefsKingdom Let’s Go!”
The Chiefs and Smith-Schuster agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $10.75 million, according to ESPN.
Smith-Schuster adds a potentially prolific third target to a Kansas City passing attack seeking reinforcements behind perennial Pro Bowlers Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. On Thursday Byron Pringle, the team’s fourth-leading pass catching last season, signed a free-agent deal with the Chicago Bears. Demarcus Robinson and Marcus Kemp are also unrestricted free agents.
The Chiefs currently have 10 other receivers on the roster including Mecole Hardman, Josh Gordon, Daurice Fountain, Gehrig Dieter and Cornell Powell among others.
Smith-Schuster told NFL Network he chose the Chiefs in order to play with quarterback Patrick Mahomes and with the goal of winning a Super Bowl ring.
The Chiefs pursued Smith-Schuster during free agency last season before the wideout returned to the Pittsburgh Steelers on a one-year, $8 million contract that kept him paired with quarterback Ben Rothlisberger for one more season.
A shoulder injuring during Week 5 cut his season short, limiting him to 15 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown. Smith-Schuster returned for the Steelers’ Wild Card appearance against the Chiefs in January, catching five passes for 26 yards in the loss.
The Chiefs are banking on Smith-Schuster returning to the form that made him a Pro Bowl players in his second season in 2018. He posted career highs that season with 111 catches for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns.
But the past three seasons have been less prolific for the 2017 second-round draft pick from USC. A concussion and knee injury limited him to 12 games during the 2019 season. During the past three seasons, Smith-Schuster missed 16 games while averaging 51 catches, 504 yards and four touchdowns per season.
Mahomes and Chris Jones were among Chiefs players reacting to the addition of Smith-Schuster on social media.