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Former Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva signed with the Ravens on a two-year, $14 million deal with $8 million fully guaranteed on Tuesday. The Ravens were previously reported to be closing in on a deal with Villanueva but wanted to wait until after May 3 so it wouldn't be a part of the compensatory formula.
Villanueva spoke with the Baltimore media today on signing with the Ravens and along with saying that part of the motivation to come to the Ravens was to play the Steelers twice a year, he also touched on protecting Lamar Jackson.
"There's certain players in NFL that truly inspire you to get the best out of you. When you see Lamar Jackson play, you want to do everything you can to protect him," Villanueva said via Jeff Zrebeic of The Athletic.
Villanueva also compared athletic feats that Jackson does to what Le'Veon Bell used to do when he was blocking for him in Pittsburgh.
Villanueva also said that he doesn't foresee it being a problem going from left tackle to right tackle. The biggest challenge he feels is learning the playbook but looks forward to playing in a run-heavy offense like when he was at Army. "This playbook is more what I used to do in college," Villanueva said.
Villanueva was a much better pass blocker than run blocker with the Steelers, so it will be interesting to see how he does in a run-heavy offense in Baltimore.