With the 2021 NFL league year about to get underway, id there a chance the Pittsburgh Steelers retain tackle Alejandro Villanueva? John Clayton thinks so and he said as much during his Wednesday interview on 93.7 The Fan.
“I’m just thinking that what you’re looking at is that their effort first has got to be in Villanueva, but can they fit it into the cap? It’s still questionable because they’re still trying to get under the cap,” Clayton said.
Wait! What? The Steelers are not over the cap now and they haven’t been for a few weeks now. Also, Villanueva returning on any sort of deal at this point really does not seem feasible. Clayton, however, thinks it is feasible and that the Steelers could make a deal for Villanueva happen by adding some voidable years to keep his 2021 cap charge low.
“So, you do see a lot of that,” Clayton said of the voidable year idea. “And of course, you know, if you’re going to be Villanueva, you’re 32 years old, you can’t backload it too much. But you can do a two-year deal with three years of additional voids and get that cap number down. But again, you have to worry because Indianapolis does not have a left tackle after losing out on Trent Williams and you still have to wonder does Kansas city go for Alejandro Villanueva, too. I think he’s a $12 million a year deal.”
I think Clayton is off his rocker on the voidable year aspect, personally. If the Steelers were to somehow re-sign Villanueva, I highly doubt they would go the voidable year way as it would set themselves up for more dead money just like they have done with the recent contract redo on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Stranger things have happened, I guess. However, just like Chewbacca, an 8-foot-tall Wookiee, wanting to live on Endor with a bunch of 2-foot-tall Ewoks, it does not make sense.
The Steelers just re-signed tackle Zach Banner and with fellow tackle Chukwuma Okorafor still having one year left, it sure seems unlikely that Villanueva will be back and especially not at $12 million per season or more.