The Pittsburgh Steelers and left tackle Alejandro Villanueva have agreed to a four-year contract that will keep the former Army Ranger protecting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s blindside for the rest of the decade.
Financial terms of the deal, reached just as the team was reporting to training camp at Saint Vincent College on Thursday, were not disclosed.
Villanueva started every game for the defending AFC North champions last season. The 28-year-old joined the team’s practice squad in 2014 and made the 53-man roster in 2015.
He played offensive line, defensive line and wide receiver at West Point, leading the team in receptions in 2009, his senior season. After graduation, he deployed three times to Afghanistan, earning two Bronze Star Medals, including one with a ”V” device.
Villanueva left active duty in 2014 and signed with the Philadelphia Eagles that May. He was released from their practice squad in August, when he joined the Steelers. When he’s not in black and gold, he‘s still wearing green as a 6-foot-9, 320-pound captain in the Army Reserve.
The contract means Pittsburgh’s entire starting offensive line is signed through the 2018 season.