Remember what happened the last time a star Steelers receiver tried to make the Raiders the next step of his career? It wasn't so great... but, then again, Antonio Brown did win a Super Bowl in 2021.
And though it's still way too early to really tout anyone as the favorite in the potential free agency sweepstakes for JuJu Smith-Schuster, one insider is saying that the Raiders are a team at the front of the pack in terms of their interest levels on Smith-Schuster's services.
According to longtime NFL writer and reporter John Clayton in his appearance on The PM Team with Poni & Mueller, the Las Vegas Raiders, along with several others, are "going to be moving on" the Steelers' longest-tenured wideout. I had listed Smith-Schuster in my list of potential landing spots for the impending free agent earlier this year:
The Raiders may be content with the passing attack they had and bring back Nelson Agholor, albeit for a loftier price tag than the minimum contract they signed him to this season. But should they decide to move on and if they can rearrange their books to create enough room, Smith-Schuster's underneath game would serve as a great complement to Henry Ruggs' deep-threat abilities and Darren Waller's big-man play type.
Spotrac projects Smith-Schuster's market value at just over $16 million per year on a long-term deal, which is a luxury that the Steelers probably don't need or want to spend that much money on right now, especially given the emergence of Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson in 2020.
On the other hand, as their roster currently stands, the Raiders are more than $9 million over the cap, though you can assume that players like WR Tyrell Williams, QB Marcus Mariota and a number of offensive linemen can either be cut as cap casualties or restructured to free up space.
Of course, the Raiders would be getting a very talented option in the passing attack, but they'd also have to deal with the inevitable side effects of having JuJu around: TikTok dances all over the place.