The reason that the Miami Dolphins could be taking a look at Smith-Schuster in the first place is because of his potential affordability. After finishing up his rookie contract, he signed a one-year, $8 million deal to return to Pittsburgh, but suffered a shoulder injury after just five games that were underwhelming at very best.
Due to his lack of production in 2021, even when healthy, Smith-Schuster will likely command less money than he did last off season. He may also be looking for stability and a legit NFL pay day, given that his only two contracts have netted him $12 million in his five years in the league. The Dolphins would probably like to have him on a one-year “prove it” deal, but he may be looking for a two or three year contract, which could scare Miami away.
But if they are willing to commit to him for more than one season, then he would be less expensive on a per-year basis. Let’s say the Dolphins lose DeVante Parker and replace him with Amari Cooper. Signing Smith-Schuster to a deal with terms similar to 3 years at $4.5 million per to be the third option would make the Dolphins receiving corps both explosive and semi-affordable.