When NFL fans think of Alejandro Villanueva they likely thing of several things, and the first which probably should cross their mind is his military service. Following his time as an Army Ranger, Villanueva’s second career came as an offensive tackle.
It wasn’t always easy for Villanueva, and after a seven year career he has decided to hang it up for good.
This per Adam Schefter of ESPN:
Ravens announced that OT Alejandro Villanueva has decided to retire after a seven-year NFL career.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2022
Following his time at West Point, Villanueva served in the United States Army for three tours in Afghanistan before trying his hand at football once again. The former tight end was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles in hopes of him becoming a defensive end. The experiment failed, and Villanueva was released.
The Pittsburgh Steelers then signed him, but had no plans on him playing on the defensive side of the ball. Instead, Villanueva was converted to an offensive tackle, and after spending a year on the team’s practice squad, he was elevated to the swing tackle role in 2015.
It was in 2016, after left tackle Kelvin Beachum left via free agency, when Villanueva was named the starting left tackle, a position he anchored until he wasn’t re-signed after the 2020 season.
In 2021, Villanueva was signed by the Baltimore Ravens, and played in all 17 games for the AFC North rivals. As stated earlier, before entering the second year of his two-year contract with Baltimore, Villanueva has decided to call it a career.
Some might remember Villanueva for his military service. Others might remember him for his controversial stance with the national anthem in 2018. Nonetheless, he was more than just a great story, but a solid player during his time in Pittsburgh.
While the Ravens were the team who announced his retirement, he will always be remembered as a member of the black and gold.