Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Steelers’ Alejandro Villanueva still unsigned, may not report to camp

The Steelers' failure to sign Le'Veon Bell to a long-term deal could have consequences both in the short and long term.

Le’Veon Bell isn’t the only Steeler who might not show up for training camp.

Pittsburgh left tackle Alejandro Villanueva and his agent are declining to say whether he’ll be there when camp opens, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The 28-year-old Villanueva has had an unusual football journey: He played football at Army, went undrafted in 2010, served three tours of duty in Afghanistan, got picked up by the Eagles in 2014 but got cut in the preseason, spent that year on the Steelers’ practice squad, became a regular player in 2015 and started all 16 games in 2016. Now he’s an unsigned exclusive-rights free agent, meaning he doesn’t have a contract but doesn’t have the ability to shop himself to any other team. The Steelers have extended Villanueva the $615,000 exclusive-rights tender, but Villanueva thinks a starting left tackle is worth more than that and hasn’t signed.

Because of Villanueva’s status as an exclusive-rights free agent, the Steelers have plenty of leverage. Where Villanueva has leverage is in his ability to refuse to show up for work. He may decide to use that leverage.