Updated: Mar 31, 2021
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Alejandro Villanueva has still not been signed in free agency and there's a possibility that the Steelers could bring him back on a cheap deal. Ed Bouchette of The Athletic was on 93.7 The Fan this morning and said sources told him Villanueva was in the process of putting his home in Pittsburgh up for sale and the Steelers asked him to hold off on doing so.
The Steelers currently have around $10 million in cap space, so I don't know if they'll be able to afford Villanueva unless he signs a team-friendly deal. It's also unclear if Villanueva still wants to play, as he turns 33 in September and many of the core guys that he's played with are now retired or playing elsewhere.
Villanueva also has other interests outside of football. He has an MBA from Carnegie Mellon and might want to pursue a career in business. Craig Wolfley of Steel City Insider, recently wrote in an article that he wouldn't be surprised if Villanueva retires.
"After all he has been through, and survived, he may be on to his “life’s work” as Coach Noll used to say," Wolfley wrote.
Wolfley also writes, "Al has always struck me as a man with bigger interests and talents than just holding down the blind side of a football field."
This is of course just speculation and an opinion from Wolfley, but it does hold more weight from a guy like Wolfley, who is close with the Steelers, especially the offensive lineman on the team.
It should be interesting to see what Villanueva's next move is. Whether that's re-signing with the Steelers on a cheap deal or playing with another team, or retiring and moving onto his life's work.