JuJu Smith-Schuster considered signing with the Ravens in the offseason

Ravens, JuJu Smith-Schuster Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, JuJu Smith-Schuster Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens went into the offseason looking to overhaul their wide receiver corps. And they almost did so by adding a longtime division rival in JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Smith-Schuster was on NFL Network this week to discuss his return to Pittsburgh, and he revealed that he almost didn’t re-sign with the organization.

The fifth-year wide receiver said that he considered signing with both the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs before he ultimately accepted a “prove-it” deal to return to the Steelers.

Of course, the Ravens’ interest in Smith-Schuster dates back to March and they were known as one of the teams interested in signing the former USC star.

The Ravens had a lot of interest in JuJu Smith-Schuster

Smith-Schuster has even spoken about the Ravens’ interest in him in the past, detailing back in April that he ultimately didn’t sign with them due to his fear that he wouldn’t get a ton of looks in Baltimore’s run-heavy offense.

The former second-round pick had the following to say about his decision.

"“Lamar [Jackson]’s a really, a heavy run offense with the backs that he has. I just, just point being facts. His No. 1 target was [Mark] Andrews, who’s a tight end.”"

The Ravens made addressing the wide receiver position a point of emphasis this offseason, and at one point, they hoped that Smith-Schuster would be a part of their offensive overhaul.

Instead, they opted for a different free-agent addition in the form of the speedy Sammy Watkins. Watkins signed with the Ravens in the offseason after three years spent in Kansas City and will look to add another element of speed to the offense to go along with Marquise Brown.

Watkins wasn’t the only addition the team made, however.

The Ravens double-dipped on the position in a receiver-heavy 2021 NFL Draft taking Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman in the first round and Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace in the fourth.

Baltimore is set to sport a new-look receiving corps in 2021, one that will hopefully allow quarterback Lamar Jackson to lean on his receivers as well as tight end Mark Andrews.

As for Smith-Schuster, he will play at least one more year in Pittsburgh where he will once again play the Ravens twice. Perhaps next offseason, the two sides could revisit a deal.

Next. Ravens: 3 hardest games on the team’s 2021 schedule. dark

Although with Bateman and Wallace now in the picture, perhaps that ship has sailed.