JuJu Smith-Schuster Free Agency Best Fits: Packers, Chiefs, and Vikings Among Options

With NFL free agency underway, let's examine the best fits for former Kansas City Chiefs WR JuJu Smith-Schuster. Where might he play in 2023?

NFL free agency has officially begun. After spending last season with the Kansas City Chiefs, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is expected to find a new home this season. Which teams would be the best fit for Smith-Schuster?

Update: JuJu Smith-Schuster has signed a three-year deal worth $33 million with the New England Patriots.

JuJu Smith-Schuster Free Agency Best Fits

Each free agent class is different, having its own strengths and weaknesses. This year’s class is one of the weakest at wide receiver in recent memory. As a result, players like Smith-Schuster may be more highly coveted than they would in a year with more higher-end talent available.

Smith-Schuster entered free agency as the fourth-highest-ranked wide receiver in our Top 100 NFL Free Agents list. Combine that with a rookie WR class that pales in comparison to last year’s, and we could see Smith-Schuster get a pretty good contract from a team that needs him.

MORE: Remaining 2023 NFL Free Agents by Position

While Smith-Schuster isn’t necessarily my favorite wide receiver, there should be plenty of teams interested in signing him. If we can dispel the notion that 2018 JuJu was anything more than an outlier year, perhaps we can actually view what he offers an NFL team more favorably.

After his rookie contract expired, Smith-Schuster settled for a series of one-year deals, first with the Steelers, then with the Chiefs. Presumably, JuJu wants that multi-year contract this offseason. So, what teams are the best fit to sign him in free agency?

Smith-Schuster Would Give Jordan Love a Reliable Veteran Set of Hands on the Packers

It was an interesting choice for the Packers to trade Davante Adams without signing an adequate replacement. Not to take anything away from Christian Watson, but the Packers’ offense suffered last season from Aaron Rodgers being forced to throw to two rookies, a former UDFA, and the 2022 version of Randall Cobb.

Entering his second season, the Packers have no choice but to hope Watson takes a step forward and becomes a WR1. He certainly has the skill set; he just needs more consistency.

Regardless, a trustworthy veteran who thrives near the line of scrimmage would be a benefit to any quarterback running this offense.

Obviously, I’m taking a little liberty here in assuming that will be Jordan Love, entering a season as a starter for the first time in his career. But even if it ends up being Rodgers, the point stands.

Smith-Schuster caught 78 passes for 933 yards and three touchdowns last season. This is who he is, and that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong or bad with the production JuJu provides.

If both he and the Packers see eye-to-eye on the type of player Smith-Schuster is, the two should be able to reach an agreement.

The Packers created enough salary cap space to afford a wide receiver. Given that we just saw Jakobi Meyers get three years and $33 million, it’s difficult to imagine Smith-Schuster getting more than that. Meyers is the better player and was one of the top WRs available in this free agent class. The Packers should be able to secure Smith-Schuster for around $10 million a year.

Both Smith-Schuster and the Chiefs Are Interested in Running It Back

The Chiefs just won the Super Bowl. Smith-Schuster was part of that time. By no means am I suggesting the Chiefs couldn’t win without him, but he certainly played a role.

When teams have success, they are often keen on trying to replicate it. Smith-Schuster will not be overly expensive. So, a reunion is definitely in play here.

When NFL Network’s Mike Giardi asked JuJu if he wanted to stay with the Chiefs. the wide receiver said, “Yeah, I want to come back. Of course, man. Look where I’m at? I want to come back to this.” Clearly, Smith-Schuster is open to returning.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Chiefs will “attempt to re-sign receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.”

With both sides on the same page in terms of desire, the deciding factor will likely be money.

The Chiefs don’t have much cap space left, but they can certainly structure a deal in a way that makes it work for 2023.

While I do think the Chiefs need to surround Patrick Mahomes with more talented players, he’s already proven he can make it work with Smith-Schuster as his best receiver. This team still needs pass catchers, making it one of the best fits for Smith-Schuster to land in free agency.

The Vikings Could Sign Smith-Schuster To Replace Adam Thielen

We see plenty of NFL teams ignore the wide receiver position. The Vikings have never been one of them.

From Cris Carter to Randy Moss to Percy Harvin to Adam Thielen to Stefon Diggs to Justin Jefferson, Minnesota has rarely been without two quality receivers.

It’s been a fantastic run for Thielen as part of the Vikings’ elite WR duo. First, his running mate was Diggs. More recently, it was Jefferson. But at 33 years old, it’s over for Thielen. Someone will sign him if he wants to continue playing football, but he can no longer contribute in any meaningful way.

MORE: NFL Free Agency Rumors — Latest News on Lamar Jackson, Aaron Rodgers, and DeAndre Hopkins

As expected, the Vikings cut Thielen. So, they need a new WR2. Why not Smith-Schuster?

While Smith-Schuster is not as good of a receiver as prime Thielen, he is certainly an upgrade on what Thielen provided last season. He’s also seven years younger.

With only about $7 million in cap space, the Vikings need to find a capable WR2 without him being overly expensive. Smith-Schuster would be a solid fit to keep the Vikings’ offense humming the way it has for the majority of the Kirk Cousins era.

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