Grading KC Chiefs offensive free agent signings from 2022
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Wide Receiver
After reportedly spurning the Chiefs in the 2021 offseason, JuJu Smith-Schuster was signed with the hopes of getting back to his 2018-level play. Although he didn’t even hit 1,000 receiving yards in the regular season (933), according to Pro Football Focus ($), he recorded his highest yards per route run (1.77) in the regular season since his 2018 pro bowl season, by far the highest among Kansas City wide receivers with at least 20 targets. He also had three receiving touchdowns from Patrick Mahomes in 19 total games.
Even though he didn’t have an elite season for the Chiefs in 2022, he provided great value for the team as he only cost $3.7M against the cap last season and drew the most important penalty in the history of the Kansas City Chiefs when Philadelphia’s James Bradberry was called for defensive holding in the final minutes of Super Bowl LVII, setting up Harrison Butker to kick the game-winning field goal in the final seconds of the game.
Although he has since moved on, signing a multi-year contract with the New England Patriots, Chiefs fans should be grateful for JuJu Smith-Schuster’s brief tenure with the team. He was a key contributor in the Super Bowl victory and saw the second-most targets in Patrick Mahomes’ MVP season, all for less money on the 2022 salary cap than Anthony Hitchens, who wasn’t even on the team last year. He also set what could be a beneficial precedent for the Chiefs. His season may convince other veteran free-agent receivers to join Kansas City on the cheap with the hopes of resurrecting their careers with a great season catching passes from Patrick Mahomes and winning multiple playoff games.
The Grade: A-