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Will 2020 be the last year of Alejandro Villanueva’s Steelers career?

Breaking down every player one-by-one alphabetically on the Steelers current 90-man roster

Miami Dolphins v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

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:

Alejandro Villanueva

Position: OT
Height: 6’ 9”
Weight: 320 lbs
College: West Point
Draft: UDFA in 2010


2019 Stats

16 Games played
16 Games started


Contract remaining

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:
Nick Bosa
Joey Bosa
Myles Garrett
Chandler Jones
Jadeveon Clowney

Alejandro will be the Steelers starting left tackle again in 2020 and I would expect him to be as solid as ever.


2020 projection

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.


Projected stats:

16 Games played
16 Starts


Summary

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.


Previously Highlighted

Ola Adeniyi
Marcus Allen
Tyson Alualu
Trajan Bandy
Zach Banner
J.T. Barrett -Cut
John Battle
Jordan Berry
Saeed Blacknall
Breon Borders
Chris Boswell
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Isaiah Buggs
Devin Bush
Deon Cain
Kam Canaday
Chase Claypool
Josiah Coatney -Cut
James Conner
Anthony Coyle
Jordan Dangerfield
Amara Darboh
Carlos Davis
David DeCastro
Christian DiLauro
Kevin Dotson
Bud Dupree
Eric Ebron
Terrell Edmunds
Trey Edmunds
Matt Feiler
Minkah Fitzpatrick
Zach Gentry
Ulysees Gilbert III
Derwin Gray
Joe Haden
J.C. Hassenauer
Quadree Henderson -Cut
Dewayne Hendrix -Cut
Cam Heyward
Alex Highsmith
Mike Hilton
Devlin Hodges
John Houston -Cut
Anthony Johnson
Diontae Johnson
Jarron Jones
John Keenoy
Tyree Kinnel -Cut
Christian Kuntz -Cut
Justin Layne
Leo Lewis
James Lockhart
Paxton Lynch
Dan McCullers
Vance McDonald
Anthony McFarland Jr.
Henry Mondeaux
Christian Montano -Cut
Alexander Myres
Steven Nelson
Spencer Nigh
Chuks Okorafor
James Pierre
Maurkice Pouncey
Kevin Rader
Dax Raymond
Ben Roethlisberger
Mason Rudolph
Jaylen Samuels
Tuzar Skipper
Wendall Smallwood
Juju Smith-Schuster
Benny Snell Jr.
Robert Spillane
Cameron Sutton
Ryan Switzer
Calvin Taylor
Stephon Tuitt