The Kansas City Chiefs will have a new No. 1 wide receiver in 2023, as JuJu Smith-Schuster is moving on by signing with the New England Patriots, as first reported by Taylor Bisciotti and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. ESPN’s Adam Schefter added that it’s a three-year contract worth $33 million — with $22 million earned over the first two years.
Smith-Schuster, 26, came to the Chiefs on a one-year deal last offseason after the club moved on from wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Together with Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney and Justin Watson, Kansas City had enough to take home a Super Bowl championship.
Smith-Schuster finished the season with 78 catches for 933 yards and three touchdowns. He finished with the team’s second-most targets (101), trailing only tight end Travis Kelce (152). The receiver will always be remembered for his critical Super Bowl LVII performance, in which he notched seven catches for 53 yards in the 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Kansas City reportedly tried to retain the receiver, but he chose to play elsewhere. Par for the course, Smith-Schuster took to social media to address his new home.
“Excited for my next chapter in New England!” wrote Smith-Schuster. “I will give this organization everything I have, thank you for believing in me!”
The key receivers left on Kansas City’s 2023 roster are Valdes-Scantling, Toney and Skyy Moore. Cornell Powell and Justyn Ross remain interesting options. General manager Brett Veach is now expected to look elsewhere to bolster the room.