3 biggest beneficiaries of Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 offseason
By Tommy Jaggi
OT Chukwuma Okorafor
Big break: Alejandro Villanueva leaving in FA
If you recall, prior to Zach Banner going down with an ACL tear in Week 1 of the 2020 season it was Banner, not Chukwuma Okorafor, who was the plan for the Steelers at the right tackle position. Okorafor entered the season as the swing tackle but was quickly thrust into a starting role after the injury to Banner.
This offseason, Chuks had another string of good luck as Alejandro Villanueva elected to leave Pittsburgh during free agency in favor of the Baltimore Ravens. With Villanueva gone and the Steelers ignoring the offensive tackle position in the NFL Draft until the fourth round, Okorafor was the obvious front-runner to land the left tackle job in 2021.
Now we can confirm that Okorafor will indeed be playing on the left side – something he probably wouldn’t have gotten the chance to do if Villanueva stuck around. Even if he has just a respectable season this year, he could be in line for a much bigger payday than he could have expected. Not only is he a starter, but left tackles are among the highest-paid position in football. Okorafor really caught a break, and almost none of it had to do with his play from 2020.