Why did Kansas City Chiefs release JuJu Smith-Schuster?

Juju Smith-Schuster, the Kansas City Chiefs‘ second-leading pass catcher after Travis Kelce last year, has left in free agency, contrary to reports that he would be re-signed.

The New England Patriots reportedly gave Smith-Schuster a three-year, $33 million contract. The Chiefs apparently could not match it after making multiple early waves in the NFL free agency period.

In 2023, the former Chief will not be the only Super Bowl LVII champion to depart the organization. The squad has also lost defensive tackle Khalen Saunders, Frank Clark, fullback Michael Burton and offensive tackle Andrew Wylie.

JuJu Smith-Schuster reportedly expressed interest in returning to Kansas City in 2023. However, the organization was aware that it would be difficult to retain him given his status as one of the top receivers in free agency and one of the few to post a season with close to 1000 receiving yards. Smith-Schuster got a three-year, $33 million contract from the Patriots, which is comparable to what Allen Lazard and Jakobi Meyers got earlier last week.

Smith-Schuster departs Kansas City after helping the Chiefs win their second Super Bowl. With Kansas City, he only played one season, finishing with 933 yards and three scores. He gained 89 more yards on the Chiefs’ postseason drive. Smith-Schuster used Twitter to bid the Kansas City Chiefs farewell immediately after the announcement of his exit from the city spread.

Smith-Schuster tweeted:

“Thank you to Kansas City for allowing me to come in and contribute to a Super Bowl, the most incredible event of my life. I’ll always appreciate everything my teammates, the coaching staff and the fans for being so great to me.”

JuJu Smith-Schuster’s departure leaves the Chiefs with three receivers – Kadarius Toney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore – who played significant roles in 2022 and are under contract until at least 2023.

What would JuJu Smith-Schuster bring to New England Patriots?

JuJu Smith-Schuster revived a reputation that had fizzled out due to injuries after an impressive season at Kansas City. He amassed almost 1,000 yards and three TDs in 2022.

Smith-Schuster spent the entire 2021 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers before moving on to Kansas City in 2022. He’s the youngest athlete to receive 2,500 yards and the first to score two offensive TDs of at least 97 yards, among other milestones. Smith-Schuster has 401 catches, 4,788 receiving yards and 31 scores in his NFL career.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, who is unquestionably among the league’s top receivers if he settles in New England, would aid the Patriots recover from their disappointing 2022 season.

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