4 Steelers free agents who will get more money than they deserve this offseason

JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva (78). Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

OT Alejandro Villanueva

There is going to be a ton of interest for Alejandro Villanueva this offseason. Quality left tackles just never seem to hit the market, and Villanueva is a three-time Pro Bowl player at one of the three most important positions in all of football. Unfortunately, the Steelers just don’t have the funds to be able to pay him what he is projected to earn, and it would likely take several cuts or extensions just to make this happen.

While I certainly envision Pittsburgh at least making an offer to keep AV around as Ben Roethlisberger’s blindside protector for one more season, I won’t blame him for wanting to cash in on a massive payday elsewhere. A team like the Colts with more than $45 million in cap space could slide him in at left tackle as they look to compete this year.

Outside of Trent Williams and Eric Fisher, Villanueva might be the most sought-after free-agent tackle this offseason. Despite turning 33 years old in the 2021 season, the Steelers offensive tackle could fetch $16.5 million per season on the open market, according to Spotrac.com. Villanueva is a good tackle and is still solid in pass protection; however, his ability to drive with power as a run blocker has really gone downhill, and we would have to expect that things are only going to continue to decline with old age. AV might be right for some team, but they are probably going to end up paying too much to obtain him.