Steelers News

T Zach Banner Hints No Restricted Tender From Steelers Possible

Will the Pittsburgh Steelers restricted tender tackle Zach Banner at an original-round level prior to the start of the new league year? That has been the expectations for a while now but to date there’s been no reports that has happened. Additionally, a Monday morning tweet from Banner could easily lead one to believe that Banner might not get restricted tendered prior to the deadline.

A low original round restricted tender for Banner would cost the Steelers roughly $2.144 million and would virtually guarantee he remains in Pittsburgh for at least the 2020 season as no team would likely give up a fourth-round selection in this year’s draft to sign him away.

While that $2.144 million amount doesn’t seem all that expensive after roster displacement takes place, the Steelers might not be able to afford it from a luxury perspective just the same due to their current salary cap situation, and especially if they plan on tendering two of their other restricted free agents, cornerback Mike Hilton and tackle Matt Feiler, at second-round levels.

Banner, who was originally selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth-round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of USC, signed with the Steelers in 2018 during training camp. After making the team’s 53-man roster in 2018, Banner only dressed for one game that entire season and never played an offensive snap. The Steelers re-signed Banner last offseason as an exclusive rights free agent to a minimum salary tender and he dressed for all 16 games during the 2019 season on his way to logging a little more than 200 total offensive snaps, most of which involved him being an eligible extra blocking lineman.

If ultimately not restricted tendered by the Steelers in the next several days, Banner might get a little interest from a few other NFL teams for more than the minimum as a free agent. The Denver Broncos could conceivably be one of those teams interested in Banner because of Mike Munchak being their offensive line coach. Munchak was the Steelers offensive line coach in 2018 when Banner was originally signed by the team. Banner’s lack of abundance of tackle tape with the Steelers could hurt his chances of signing a more-than-minimum free agent contract elsewhere this offseason, however.

It’s certainly hard to draw conclusions from just one tweet. Even so, what Banner did tweet out Monday morning certainly makes it sound like he’s not a lock to be back in Pittsburgh in 2020 and definitely not on a contract that would pay him more than $2 million for the season. We’ll find out soon if Banner’s tweet was a sign of things to come. Hopefully they can ultimately find a way to keep him in the fold for at least the 2020 season.

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