By: Michael Stiffler, @Stiffeezy_ on Twitter
The most highly debated offseason decision got a little more interesting last night as Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster streamed Fortnite live on Twitch last night titled “Free Agent! Where Should I GO?” This is quite the interesting title as head coach Mike Tomlin indicated on Wednesday that no exit interviews within the organization had taken place but would be over the next week or so. So this poses the question, did Smith-Schuster get word from the Steelers organization he will be free to test the free agent market?
Now to be honest, I did not watch the whole stream because it was 4 and a half hours long but rather scrubbed through for bits and pieces to see if anything stood out. There is a chance I missed some very important details but I noticed a few details that were quite interesting that could be spun however you want.
To give some background for those who don’t know Fortnite, Fortnite has a deal with the NFL where you can play as a generic NFL character in any team uniform and number. Smith-Schuster started off the stream in a Steelers color rush jersey but this is what got interesting. His character throughout the stream changed to the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts (from what I caught) and in the end went back to a Steelers uniform. Is this his way of giving a hint at some teams he is interested in or was it a recommendation by some of his 55,000 viewers? The reason I say this was a recommendation because he was interacting extensively with fans who were sending in questions/suggestions about possible destinations he can go. One fan even referenced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he replied, “They have too many weapons already,” hinting at players like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to name a few.
Let’s not all forget he has said multiple times this season he would love to remain in Pittsburgh but what did the stream mean? I know Steelers fans have had a gripe with how outspoken he has been this season and has become a “distraction” of sorts, but you have to realize he is still only 24 years old. He is still very young and to be honest still has some immature tendencies, but when you are that young and have experienced such a quick rise to fame it happens. Hell, Steelers fans have had a worse experience with players much older than him. I tend to lean on the side of this was Smith-Schuster being business savvy to draw more eyes to his product. We need to realize that players very much have a short shelf life in this game and in today’s day and age players are trying to build their brand as best as possible to set themselves up for future success outside of football. Like rapper Jay-Z once said, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man,” and Steelers fans everywhere need to realize that is the nature of the beast now.
What does Steeler Nation think about the stream? Do you think this is him declaring his time in Pittsburgh is done? Is it his way of bringing in business? Do you want him back in the black and gold? Drop a comment below!