Veach failed to bring wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to Kansas City ahead of the 2021 season. However, he would not fail again and signed the 25-year-old veteran to a team-friendly deal ahead of the 2022 season.
It took a few games, but Smith-Schuster is clearly the Chiefs’ WR1 this season. He already has a clear role in head coach Andy Reid’s scheme and a solid connection with quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Smith-Schuster leads Kansas City’s wide receivers in receptions, receiving touchdowns, and first down conversions—all good signs from a team’s top receiving option on a cheap one-year deal.
The injury bug bit Smith-Schuster again in 2022 unfortunately. He started the season with some minor lower-body injuries but slowly stopped appearing on the Chiefs’ injury reports. Jacksonville Jaguars safety Andre Cisco’s dirty hit put Smith-Schuster back on the shelf with a concussion and kept him out of Kansas City’s Week 11 matchup.
Kansas City could only afford Smith-Schuster because of his underwhelming production and availability in recent years. He will certainly be in line for a multi-year deal after the 2022 season, a deal that Veach may give him. There are a lot of games left in 2022, but things are looking up for the former Pittsburgh Steeler.
Chiefs fans can be thankful that Smith-Schuster verbally wants to be in Kansas City for the long term. After Hill’s departure, the Chiefs lacked a top wide receiver for Mahomes. So far, Smith-Schuster has shown that he can be that when healthy.