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Steelers sign Alejandro Villanueva to a new four-year deal

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The two-year starter made significant strides in the second half of 2016 and is a key component to one of the league's best offensive lines.

PITTSBURGH - The Steelers have announced that the team has signed offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva to a new four-year deal with the franchise through the 2020 season. Financial terms of the new contract were not disclosed by the club, although media accounts put the contract at $24 million over the four-year period.

Villanueva started all 16 regular-season games for the Steelers in 2016 and each of the team's three postseason contests. He was part of an offensive line that held opponents to 21 sacks in 2016 - the second-fewest allowed in the NFL on the season.

Villanueva, an Army graduate, joined the Steelers' practice squad for the 2014 season. He took over the left tackle job when Kelvin Beachum went down with injury in 2015 and started 10-of-16 games played with Pittsburgh in 2015 and two postseason games. He originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014.

All five Steelers starting offensive lineman -- including Ramon Foster, David DeCastro, Marcus Gilbert and Maurkice Pouncey - are under long-term contracts. The Steelers' line allowed 21 sacks in 21016, second-fewest in the NFL.

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