SF 49ers: 5 older veterans team should add in NFL free agency
By Peter Panacy
No. 2: Left Tackle Alejandro Villanueva, Pittsburgh Steelers
The SF 49ers’ No. 1 in-house free-agent priority is left tackle Trent Williams.
Williams can’t be hit with the franchise tag this offseason, so it’s either him hitting the open market or receiving a lucrative contract worth something in the range of $18 million per year.
That’s a lot of cash the Niners probably can’t afford without some serious roster adjustments elsewhere.
While he might not be quite as prolific as Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva is still a high-quality commodity and has been more than reliable, starting all 16 regular-season games for Pittsburgh the last five seasons.
True, Villanueva might not come cheap. But the money San Francisco could otherwise spend on Williams would easily ink Villanueva, as Over the Cap has his contractual valuation at $15.5 million.
If the SF 49ers can’t afford Williams to protect quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s blind side, Villanueva would be an excellent fallback option at a notably cheaper rate.