The former AFC North rival has officially crossed enemy lines.
After surprisingly not investing any draft capital at offensive tackle this past weekend, the Baltimore Ravens have signed veteran OT Alejandro Villanueva. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Adam Schefter broke the news this morning —
Alejandro Villanueva and the #Ravens have agreed to a two-year deal, per source. Two-time Pro Bowl OT can play left tackle and slide to the right side when Ronnie Stanley is healthy.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 4, 2021
Baltimore is giving former Steelers’ Alejandro Villanueva a two-year, $14 million deal that includes $8M fully guaranteed, per source. https://t.co/8lIWLsTVLL
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 4, 2021
This is a deal that was rumored to have been in place since before the draft when the Ravens hosted the seven-year veteran for a visit the week before. The team was confident that the two sides would be able to agree to terms after signing unrestricted free agents no longer impacted the compensatory pick formula, which started at 4:00pm EST on Monday.
Villanueva has played his entire career up to this point with the Ravens’ arch division rivals in Pittsburgh with the Steelers, where he started 90 of a possible 96 games. Now, though, he will be defecting to Baltimore.
While the assumption is that he will come in and replace two-time Pro Bowler Orlando Brown Jr. at right tackle, the Ravens don’t just hand over starting jobs and he’ll likely have to compete to cement his spot as the front runner to become win a starting job.
He is a two-time Pro Bowler himself and will be playing the opposite bookend for the first time after playing all but two snaps in his career at left tackle until now. Even if he doesn’t win the starting right tackle competition, Villanueva will be an upgrade at swing tackle. He also provides an experienced insurance policy for All-Pro Ronnie Stanley on Lamar Jackson’s blindside if he suffers a setback in his rehab or has to miss time at any point in the season.