There were two somber notes amidst JuJu Smith-Schuster's first AFC Championship Game victory. A knee injury sidelined the veteran receiver for the second half of the Chiefs' 23-20 over the Bengals. Adding insult to injury was the fact that it prevented Smith-Schuster from earning a $1 million incentive as part of the one-year deal he signed this past offseason.
As former agent and CBS Sports salary cap expert Joel Corry recently pointed out, Smith-Schuster needed to play in 50% of the team's offensive snaps to reach his incentive. The injury limited Smith-Schuster to 45% of the Chiefs' offensive snaps.
Chiefs WR JuJu Smith-Schuster didn't meet the criteria for a $1M incentive due to a knee injury in the AFC title game. He needed at least 50% offensive playtime in a KC win, 65 catches & 900 receiving yards in the regular season. He had 45% playtime. Hopefully, it's paid anyway.— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) January 30, 2023
Smith-Schuster's deal was front-loaded with incentives that, had he reached each of those incentives, would have pocketed $10.75 million this season. His base salary for the season was $3.5 million.
The former Pro Bowler did hit several of his incentives after catching 78 passes for 933 yards during the regular season. He may have hit the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the second time in his career if not for a concussion that sidelined him for one game.
As Corry alluded, there's a chance that the Chiefs will give Smith-Schuster the incentive anyways. Regardless, Smith-Schuster has bigger fish to fry as he looks to recover from his injury in order to be a factor in the Chiefs' Super Bowl matchup with Philadelphia.