Alejandro Villanueva, Steelers Reportedly Agree to New 4-Year Contract


As much as Pittsburgh Steelers training camp talk will understandably center on position battles, both in the starting lineup and on the roster as a whole, plenty have all but sorted themselves out already.

Villanueva was set to play the 2017 season on an exclusive rights tender, but the 28-year-old was determined to get a deal done this summer. None of this should come as a surprise, speculation running rampant ever since he and the team failed to agree on a long-term deal back on July 17th.

Villanueva was seen arriving at training camp around 3 p.m. ET but was not available to the media.

The former Army Ranger started all 16 games last season and three playoff games all at left tackle. Villanueva was in Latrobe, Pennsylvania on Thursday to sign his new deal.

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He took over the left tackle job when Kelvin Beachum went down with injury in 2015. "He is our quarterback. We understand the urgency to protect him".

Last year, Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry faced the same situation and didn't sign his franchise tender until August 28 - two weeks before the team's regular-season opener.

Villanueva's dream of playing in the National Football League began while he was at West Point, but after he wasn't drafted in 2010, he wasn't sure if it would ever happen. Although Villanueva didn't last long in Philly, he eventually ended up in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers made a decision to turn him into an left tackle.