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New England Patriots upgrade roster with Pro Bowl wide receiver

The New England Patriots headed into NFL free agency knowing full well that they needed to find more weapons for struggling young quarterback Mac Jones.

That’s exactly what New England did with about an hour to go before the official start of NFL free agency, signing Pro Bowl wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

According to multiple media reports, the former Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs pass-catcher inked a three-year deal with New England.

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster contract details: 3 years, $33 million with $22.5 million guaranteed

Smith-Schuster confirmed that he has signed with New England a short while after the reports broke.

This is no small thing for a New England Patriots team that lost leading receiver Jakobi Meyers to the Las Vegas Raiders earlier in the week.

A second-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers back in 2017, Smith-Schuster jumped on to the scene as a sophomore catching passes from Ben Roethlisberger. The USC product hauled in 111 passes for 1,427 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018.

Related: New England Patriots trading tight end Jonnu Smith to Falcons

While Smith-Schuster has not come close to repeating that performance since, he’s still only 26 years old and offers a tremendous amount of upside.

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster stats (2022): 78 receptions, 933 yards, 77.2% catch rate

Going from Patrick Mahomes and the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs to New England will be a transition for Smith-Schuster. Obviously, he’s now playing with a lesser quarterback.

From a New England Patriots perspective, Kendrick Bourne was their leading returning receiver with 35 catches before the Smith-Schuster signing. It’s in this that the Pats likely aren’t done adding to their wide receiver room.

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