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It seemed like a for sure thing that the Steelers would part ways with Alejandro Villanueva this offseason, as he wasn't all that impressive last season and he's set to become an unrestricted free agent. He turns 33 in September and his play has been declining.
The Steelers need to rebuild the offensive line and get younger talent. They should select an offensive tackle in the first two rounds and they already have Chuks Okorafor and Zach Banner, who they re-signed to a two-year, $9.5 million deal yesterday that includes a $3.25 million signing bonus.
Spotrac has Villanueva's market value at $16.5 million and a lot of teams are in need of a left tackle. I'm not sure if it would come at around $16 million but he should receive a substantial payday.
Longtime NFL writer and analyst John Clayton was on 93.7 The Fan today and he said the Steelers are still putting effort into bringing back Villanueva. Why they would do that? I'm not sure.
The Steelers currently have only around $3.6 million in salary-cap space, according to Overthecap.com, so I don't see how they can pay Villanueva and it wouldn't make sense to restructure and extend contracts just to bring him back.
They could restructure Stephon Tuitt and Chris Boswell's contract, along with extending Steven Nelson and signing Joe Haden to a new deal to free up some cap space. They released Vince Williams as a cap casualty yesterday, which saved the team $4 million in cap space. The money freed up should be used on bringing in some free agents, possibly a center to replace Maurkice Pouncey, who retired last month.
I just think the Steelers need to move on from Villanueva and it's not worth bringing him back from a talent and cap perspective, along with already having Okorafor, Banner and likely drafting a high-end offensive tackle in the draft.