Steelers sign C/G Fernando Velasco in wake of Maurkice Pouncey injury

Harry How

Velasco started all 16 games for the Titans in 2012, but was part of their final cuts this year after a subpar preseason.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have reportedly signed free agent C/G Fernando Velasco to a one-year contract. Adam Caplan first reported the deal and Velasco's agent, Brian Ayrault, has since confirmed.

Velasco started all 16 games at center/guard for the Tennessee Titans in 2012 (funny how things work out like that), but was released a week and a half ago with their final cuts on August 30. He reportedly struggled during the preseason - being passed by Titans free agent signings Rob Turner and Andy Levitre and 1st round pick Chance Warmack for all of the starting spots on the interior of their offensive line.

However, Velasco's release still came as a surprise considering his solid play last year, position flexibility, and the fact that Tennessee's front office thought enough of Velasco to give him a 2nd round tender as a restricted free agent back in March (he entered the league undrafted in 2008).

With Maurkice Pouncey out for the rest of the year, Velasco could conceivably start at center for the Steelers' Week 2 matchup vs. the Bengals, which would allow Kelvin Beachum to return to his gameday position of blocking TE/utility backup for the whole offensive line.

But if Velasco does start, it would beg the question of why the Steelers signed C/G Cody Wallace to replace John Malecki after final cuts when Velasco was also available at the time.

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