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JuJu Smith-Schuster discusses possibility of contract hold-out, future with Steelers

The Steelers’ No. 1 receiver may not be under contract next season, but he’s not allowing it to impact his play or actions off the field going forward.

JuJu Smith-Schuster has stepped up and become the leader the team had hoped he’d become, both on and off the field. And while his numbers have declined since the Steelers parted ways with Antonio Brown, he’s still a force to be reckoned with, and opposing defenses focus on him when coming up with a defensive scheme.

But his rookie deal will expire after this season, and the team has been quiet about their future with him going forward. Smith-Schuster is a team player, though, and he clearly doesn’t want to become a distraction, so he won’t hold out on his contract. Not only that, he clearly wants to remain with the team. In fact, he would “love’ for that to happen.

“I’m not going to be the type of guy who sits out,” he said, via the team’s official website. “Right now, I’m not worried about (a new contract). It’s more so just about playing ball … For me, I would love to be a Steeler, but at the end of the day, I’m here to play ball and win games for the team and for the organization.”

The Steelers tend to reward players with that type of team-first mindset, so Smith-Schuster is likely approaching this impending contract situation the right way.