Pittsburg Steelers unrestricted free agent tackle Alejandro Villanueva still remains unsigned four weeks into the 2021 league year and NFL insider John Clayton still remains convinced the former Army captain will re-sign with the team he’s been with since 2014.
During his Wednesday interview on 93.7 The Fan, Clayton, who has long thought that Alejandro Villanueva will ultimately re-sign with the Steelers at some point during the offseason, was asked once again if he still believes that.
“Well, I mean, he hasn’t left because he hasn’t had any offers to go any place or at least we don’t know of any,” Clayton said. “In fact, I’m just stunned that Indianapolis didn’t do anything with him, particularly knowing that the price is going to be lower, he’s not going to be making the big money. But I’d have to think he should be coming back. The question is going to be at what number.”
Clayton went on to reason that the Steelers should bring Villanueva back just for the shear reason that the Cleveland browns have now signed defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to be paired with Myles Garrett on the other side.
“But here’s where the problem is, it’s like they better get somebody like him at left tackle because particularly with the Jadeveon Clowney signing with Cleveland today for under $10 million, all of a sudden you better have two really good tackles to be able to block these two guys,” Clayton said. “Because say what you want, Clowney’s not a sack guy, but he is a really good defensive end who can put pressure on a quarterback. And it’s like, I know just even when he was here in Seattle, he was one of the most double-teamed players in the NFL. And he was double-teamed a lot last year when he was down in Tennessee. I know he didn’t get a sack; I know he has knee injury questions and all those different things, but now you put him on the other side of Myles Garrett, and that is dangerous.”
While the Browns adding Clowney on Wednesday certainly looks great on paper, much like Villanueva, there are a few reasons why he went unsigned as long as he did in free agency. Maybe it was price. Maybe it was his tape. Maybe it was his injury history. Who knows? The fact that Villanueva remains unsigned could be because of many of those same reasons.
As I have written for several weeks now, if Villanueva were to re-sign with the Steelers, one would think it would be for around $9 million at this point. On top of that, the Steelers would need to get him to agree to a deal that includes four voidable years so that they could keep his 2021 salary cap number way down.
Both Villanueva and the Steelers might not be in a hurry to get anything done right now just the same. In fact, with the draft so close, both parties might think that it’s better to wait and see what happens in Cleveland starting two weeks from today.
In closing, stay tuned, because we are sure to be writing more about Villanueva in the coming weeks and maybe even more about Clayton thinking he’ll still be re-signing with the Steelers as well.