Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that Steelers LT Alejandro Villanueva may not be in attendance for the start of training camp.
Villanueva is an exclusive rights free agent but has yet to sign his one-year tender and wouldn’t commit to showing up on time for the start of camp last month.
“After taking orders my whole life, now I’m working with a really good agent,” Villanueva said previously. “I’ll do whatever he tells me to do.”
The Steelers were reportedly willing to discuss a new contract for Villanueva after the season, but Fittipaldo says this doesn’t mean they’re willing to offer him a market value salary, considering that they have control of him for another two years.
Villanueva stands to make a base salary of just $615,000 for the 2017 season, which is a far cry from the $10 million or so being paid out to the top left tackles in the NFL. Compounding the issues further for Villanueva is the fact that he’ll be 29 in September and wouldn’t hit the open market until he’s 30.
Villanueva, 28, wound up signing on with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent out of Army back in 2015. He was waived during the preseason and later signed to the Steelers’ practice squad at the start of the season.
Pittsburgh brought Villanueva back on a future/reserve last year and he’s currently an exclusive rights free agent.
In 2016, Villanueva appeared in all 16 games for the Steelers and was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 24 offensive tackle out of 78 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding a new deal for Villanueva as the news is available.