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What Would a JuJu Smith-Schuster Contract Extension Cost the Chiefs?

Boardroom examines the Kansas City wide receiver’s market value before he hits NFL free agency this offseason.

The 2022 season saw the Kansas City Chiefs achieve top dog status in the AFC West once again and pole position for the playoffs. Pending one more Super Bowl title as Patrick Mahomes‘ 10-year, $450,000,000 contract rolls on, they may be arguable as a dynasty. They’re chasing this possible status despite losing No. 1 receiver Tyreek Hill this past offseason, and have some intriguing decisions to make regarding the position in the big picture.

Travis Kelce is obviously the No. 1 weapon in KC; that goes without saying. But what happens when wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster becomes an unrestricted free agent this spring after his one-year, $10.75 million deal runs out? He was Mahomes’ second favorite target after Kelce in the regular season with 78 receptions and 933 yards. Those numbers are not exactly small potatoes

Nevertheless, JuJu also isn’t exactly a superstar. He’s received just one Pro Bowl nod dating back to 2018 as a member of the Steelers, also his only 1,000-yard season over the course of a six-year career. All this is to say that any team desperate for help out wide might bite the bullet and overpay Smith-Schuster considering there aren’t many star pass-catchers hitting free agency this offseason. Alternatively, a team like the Chiefs might want him back for the sake of continuity and connection with Mahomes.

All told, whether it’s with KC or elsewhere, don’t be surprised if he gets more than what his estimated market value indicates. Ahead of the 2023 offseason, let’s take a look at comparable values for comparable players in order to project the size of a possible JuJu Smith-Schuster contract extension with the Chiefs or a free agent deal elsewhere.

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What is JuJu’s 2023 Market Value?

Athlete salary database Spotrac determines its own market value figures based on a player’s age, contract status, and statistical production. It doesn’t take into account wins, individual awards, or playoff performance, but it’s a useful measuring stick when comparing other players’ contracts.

Projecting the size of a JuJu Smith-Schuster contract extension

  • By Spotrac’s estimates, a JuJu contract is pegged at four years, $58,670,740. That would rank No. 22 among active NFL WRs by total value.
  • His average annual salary is projected at $14,667,685, which would rank 28th among WRs.

Comparable WRs by Value

PLAYERYRSTOTALAAVAGE WHEN SIGNED
Christian Kirk4$72M$18M25
Hunter Renfrow2$32.3M$16.2M26
Allen Robinson3$46.5M$15.5M28
Robbie Anderson2$29.5M$14.7M28
Averages2.8$45M$16.4M26.8

Comparable WRs By Stats

PLAYERREC TGTREC/GMREC YDS/GMREC TD/GM
Kirk 5.874.0351.710.35
Renfrow6.214.8251.330.33
Robinson7.75559.290.25
Anderson7.454.4848.940.24
Average6.824.5852.820.29
JuJu 2021-226.144.4350.570.14

Smith-Schuster bet on himself by signing a one-year contract for a second straight season. He helped revamp a group of wideouts that didn’t have a single Pro Bowl to its name, and he got his career back on track after some time in limbo with Pittsburgh. And while he didn’t hit the 1,000-yard pleateau this season, 933 was the closest he’s gotten since that Pro Bowl season in 2018.

It’s hard to determine what he’s actually worth considering two key factors: (1) he’s one of the best free agents at his position in free agency, and (2) teams aren’t at all stingy when it comes to paying receivers in this NFL era dominated by the vertical passing game. With that in mind, an average annual salary above $15 million is anything but out of the question.

(Particularly if Patrick Mahomes is willing to press the issue himself.)

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About The Author
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. Puccio has 10 years of experience in journalism and content creation, previously working for SB Nation, The Associated Press, New York Daily News, SNY, and Front Office Sports. In 2016, he received New York University's CCTOP scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in Communications from St. John's University. He can be spotted a mile away thanks to his plaid suits and thick New York accent. Don't believe us? Check his Twitter @APooch.