One Buccaneers free agency target from each AFC North team

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /
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JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Buccaneers’ target from the Pittsburgh Steelers: Juju Smith-Schuster – WR

If Chris Godwin leaves in free agency, this move would be an absolute home run for the Buccaneers. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that JuJu Smith-Schuster was the young star of the NFL, putting up nearly 1500 receiving yards as a sophomore WR1 in Pittsburgh’s offense. Unfortunately for him, times change fast.

After following that sophomore year up with a season limited by injury in 2019, which resulted in Pittsburgh investing heavily in his replacements with Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson in 2020, and suffering another season-limiting injury in 2021, Smith-Schuster now finds himself on the outside looking in at the Steelers’ wide receiver room. For teams without such strong wide receivers on the roster though, the 25-year-old still has plenty of juice in the tank – and the production in past years to prove his elite ability.

For Tampa in particular, Smith-Schuster’s skillset works perfectly. In his breakout year, he was second-fiddle to the exterior threat in Antonio Brown, and the Steelers used him to exploit the underneath and middle of the field routes that were left open by defenses having to focus on Brown. This strategy should seem familiar to Bucs fans; this is the same role that Chris Godwin plays opposite Mike Evans. If Godwin leaves, the Buccaneers know that there is a player out there who is young, physical, and well-used to the type of role that he would be stepping into. Go get him.