Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster got a fine and a one-game suspension for annihilating Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict. It was the hit of the game, but it was too rough for the NFL’s taste as they try to limit injuries, and Smith Schuster also taunted Burfict after the fact.
Interestingly, it was during that taunting that he realized just who he’d lit up.
“JuJu Smith-Schuster says he didn’t know he hit Burfict until afterward and then was like ‘Oh. Damn,’” wrote the AP’s Will Graves. “Added AB still hasn’t paid his fine for him.”
“When I stood over him after, I said ‘oh wow, that’s Burfict,’” Smith-Schuster said, per Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. “That’s when I realized and ‘ah man, here we go. This is it.’”
On the financial side, it goes further. Not only does he want the fine money, but he apparently wants the money for the game check. He missed one with the suspicion.
“JuJu Smith-Schuster, back from suspension for the Burfict hit, makes it clear he’s not going to play conservatively. He’s going to stay physical,” wrote ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “And he wants Antonio Brown to cover his lost game check.”
“[Antonio Brown] still owes me for that fine,” Smith-Schuster said, per Kaboly. “I gotta get that. He still owes me. I will try to get him today.”
It all sounds good-natured. Brown said he’d pay after the game because the rest of the team loved that hit. Maybe he was just caught up in the moment, but he makes far more than Smith-Schuster, so the rookie is looking for that money. Brown’s cap hit this year is $13,618,333, or roughly $851,000 per game. Smith-Schuster’s cap hit is $735,516 for the entire season. Brown out-earned Smith-Schuster’s entire season total sometime in the fourth quarter of the first game in 2017.