by Chris_75866 6 days ago
The Steelers have come to terms and the league has agreed to allow Juju Smith-Schuster and James Washington to be shipped to the Los Angeles Chargers in exchange for the 12th overall pick in the draft. Juju and Washington have been craving an opportunity to be bigger pieces of an offense. Just three seasons ago, Washington and Juju were top threats for the Steelers offense. Juju had himself over 1000 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2020. Washington had over 900 yards in 2020. In 2021, the new regime led by Fitt acquired Tyreek Hill in a move that completely changed the landscape of the Steelers offense. Tyreek became the undoubted number 1 weapon for then quarterback, Matthew Stafford. Both Juju and Washington saw less action and targets because of this and both receivers gained over 700 yards each in 2021. Washington's season was slightly more impressive as he hauled in 7 touchdowns to Juju's 3.
In 2022, it was much the same story for Washington and Juju, probably even worse. The Steelers traded Chase Claypool to Arizona for Andy Isabella and then acquired Jonnu Smith via trade. Both of these acquistions essentially erased Juju and Washington from the game plan. Neither receiver topped 300 yards receiving and they combined for 0 touchdowns. This wasn't an issue of talent, this was an issue of scheme fit and what the offense was able to do with the other weapons. Both Juju and Washington went to Coach Tomlin and asked to be traded following the team's wildcard loss to the Chiefs. The team agreed and immediately got to work. There were several offers involving one or the other and the team contemplated hard on taking those trades. However, the Chargers expressed a heavy need for multiple spots on their receiver core and that allowed the Steelers to combine both receivers and get a top 15 pick in the draft.
Juju and James Washington will be fixtures in the Chargers offense for years to come and the Steelers will be able to fill a need elsewhere. The question is, who will the Steelers take at number 12? Stephon Tuitt has not be resigned to date, Parry Nickerson isn't getting any younger, and the offense line could use some help, as well. Tough to say just yet who the Steelers will get, but the fan base is happy with the deal.