JuJu Smith-Schuster Reveals Reasons For Signing With Patriots

'It was (Bill) Belichick'


Mar 21, 2023

Some players run away from the opportunity to play for Bill Belichick. JuJu Smith-Schuster went in the opposite direction.

The Patriots last week signed the veteran receiver to a three-year deal, essentially with the intention of having him replace Jakobi Meyers. Smith-Schuster joined New England after enjoying a resurgent campaign with the Kansas City Chiefs, who signed him last spring after he spent five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The 26-year-old was a guest Tuesday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak & Bertrand” show. During the interview, Smith-Schuster was asked to give his reasons for landing with New England in free agency.

“To be honest, it was (Bill) Belichick, man,” Smith-Schuster said. “The guy, you know — just the want and the need. And the position that I can fill there really, really caught my attention. And … feeling wanted in a place where I played against, a head coach I have a lot of respect for. And I just think that goes a long way.”

Smith-Schuster has a chance to be an upgrade over Meyers, who left the Patriots to sign with the Las Vegas Raiders. However, whereas Meyers was a known commodity, Smith-Schuster is a player whose ability to succeed in New England remains unproven.

Smith-Schuster caught 78 balls this season for 933 yards and three touchdowns. His best campaign came in 2018, when he racked up 111 catches, 1,426 yards and seven TDs for the Steelers.

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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