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Two minutes before the new league began at 4 p.m., the Steelers announced that they've released offensive tackle Zach Banner. The move saves the Steelers $5 million in cap space. The Steelers now have approximately $22 million in cap room.
Banner beat out Chuks Okroafor for the starting right tackle position in 2020, but he suffered a season-ending ACL injury in Week 1. The injury really set Banner back, as it took him over a year to fully recover, and was unable to even compete for a starting position in 2021. Banner was on injured reserve until Week 6 and was a backup for the rest of the season.
Banner, 28, was a fourth-round pick by the Colts in 2017, a tenure which didn't last long as he was cut before the season even started because he was overweight. Banner then had short stints with the Browns and Panthers before signing with the Steelers in August of 2018. After spending a year on the practice squad, Banner served as a jumbo tackle for the Steelers in 2019 and showed promise. However, the injury in the season opener against the Giants in 2020 just really derailed Banner's future.
The Steelers thought Banner would make a smooth recovery and rewarded him with a two-year, $9.5 million deal last March. And now exactly a year later, Banner is no longer a Steeler.