The Baltimore Ravens have put the finishing touches on a solid draft class, and now they have made an addition to the roster to help boost their offensive front even more within free agency.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Ravens have agreed to sign former Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva. The contract is a reported two-year, $14 million dollar pact between the sides.
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Rapoport revealed the news on Tuesday morning with a tweet:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 4, 2021
The news of an agreement isn’t shocking. The rumor was the Ravens were interested in signing Villanueva after the draft, and that came true with this news. The team had a need up front after the Orlando Brown Jr. trade and elected to fill the need with Villanueva rather than a draft pick.
For the next few seasons, Villanueva will be counted on to play a solid role up front and protect Lamar Jackson in the trenches.
Villanueva Stats and Highlights
At 32, Villanueva is young enough that he could be a player who comes in and plays a solid role for the Ravens. The former Army Football stud who was a Bronze Star winner in the military, Villanueva is not only a decorated veteran but a player who has been solid in the NFL as well given his status as a two-time Pro Bowl player in 2017 and 2018. Villanueva has also played in 96 total league games with 90 starts under his belt, so he does bring some experience to the mix for whatever team decides to bring him in.
Villanueva also played for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014 where he started his career as an undrafted free agent. The lineman also has a fun touchdown reception to his credit during his time in the league.
Overall, Villanueva will be an interesting addition to a team like Baltimore, who has the need for help up front.
Ravens’ Offensive Line Needed Boost
It makes sense that the Ravens would try to pounce on a solution for their offensive line early on this offseason, as the team struggled up front in 2020. Baltimore never dealt well with the departure of Marshal Yanda, and though they tried younger options, it always seemed as if the best move for the team would be to go outside the family in order to make a veteran addition. Kevin Zeitler entered the mix in free agency. The rest of this offseason, the Ravens could be expected to perhaps deal Orlando Brown, so they need all the veteran help they can get to help bridge the gap in the trenches. Drafting players is a solution, but none will bring the real NFL experience someone like Villanueva could.
That’s likely the reason the Ravens elected to sign Villanueva in the end and avoid making the tackle spot a major priority in the NFL Draft. The veteran will now get a chance to deliver the consistency the team needs.
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