Moving along with part 80 of our 90ish-part series — assuming the roster does not change before we are complete — which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man (now 80-man) roster in alphabetical order. This series will encompass many aspects of each players game and their current role with the team. At the end, I’ll give some projected stats as well as their chances to make the 53-man roster.
Let’s take a look at sixth year pro:
Height: 6’ 9”
Weight: 320 lbs
College: West Point
Draft: UDFA in 2010
16 Games played
16 Games started
Expires in 2021
$8,390,000 salary cap number (4.2% of total cap)
$3,390,000 Dead money each of the next 3 seasons
$5,000,000 Savings if cut
Likelihood of making the roster
Lock. Alejandro Villanueva struggled at times during the 2019 season. I would attribute his struggles to two main factors both of which were totally out of Big Al’s control. Number one the lack of chemistry/inability to step up into the pocket by Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges. This will be corrected by the return of Ben Roethlisberger. Secondly, the murders row of pass rushers that Villanueva faced were some of the toughest matchups in the NFL. Take a look at some of the names the lined up across from Alejandro:
Alejandro will be the Steelers starting left tackle again in 2020 and I would expect him to be as solid as ever.
I think Villanueva will play solid football again, I wouldnt expect anything less than 16 starts if his health allows it. But I don’t anticipate another Pro Bowl nod on the horizon for the former tight end. If the salary cap does drop like a rock, Villanueva would likely be one of the casualties as Chuks Okorafor is still on his rookie deal and Zach Banner would come a lot cheaper.
16 Games played
I think this might be the last year of Villanueva in Pittsburgh. Be it retirement or signing elsewhere, thee just seems like there are too many factors in the way of the team offering him a competitive contract.
That being said if this is Al’s final season in the ‘burgh I would be surprised if we saw the finest year out of him yet. Especially because the expectations on Villanueva are a lot lower than normal and he will be motivated.
This incarnation of the Steelers offensive line has been one of the most solid groups in franchise history and they keep producing into there 30’s. The longer they can remain solid the longer the Steelers championship window open. Alejandro Villanueva is a big part of the group and will be leaned upon more than ever to keep Ben Roethlisberger upright and to protect his surgically repaired elbow.
J.T. Barrett -Cut
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Josiah Coatney -Cut
Ulysees Gilbert III
Quadree Henderson -Cut
Dewayne Hendrix -Cut
John Houston -Cut
Tyree Kinnel -Cut
Christian Kuntz -Cut
Anthony McFarland Jr.
Christian Montano -Cut
Benny Snell Jr.