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Alejandro Villanueva looking for long-term Steelers deal

PITTSBURGH -- Left tackle Alejandro Villanueva said he doesn't know what his options are if his agent and the Steelers don't work out a long-term contract.

For now, Villanueva remains without a contract entering next week's mandatory minicamp. Asked whether he'll attend, Villanueva said the only certainty in life is he'll go fishing on Sunday permitting good weather.

"I'm obviously trying to be a Steeler but it's something that my agent and the front office will work to sort out," said Villanueva, who on Thursday talked with reporters for the first time during OTAs.

The 6-foot-9 Villaneuva, 28, a former Army Ranger who bounced around the league at various positions before becoming the Steelers' starting left tackle in 2015, has opted not to sign his exclusive rights tender worth $615,000 for 2017. To participate in OTAs, he signed a waiver/agreement that would pay him roughly that amount if injured.

The Steelers also own his rights for 2018 under restricted free agency, but both sides are open to a new contract, according to a source.

Villanueva said he plays pool with general manager Kevin Colbert in the team facility and the contract is never broached.

"Being part of the Steelers is unbelievable, it's awesome ... but being an employer in the NFL is somewhat challenging," Villanueva said. "Obviously I don't have a part or a say in all of the things that go on. I've taken orders my whole life, right now I'm working with a really good agent, I'll do whatever he tells me to do, you guys can ask him questions about my future. I have no really good answers at this point."

Villanueva said he's near completion of an MBA from Carnegie Mellon that will set him up for the future.

The Steelers have $18.6 million in salary-cap space, according to ESPN's roster management system. Running back Le'Veon Bell (franchise tag), defensive end Stephon Tuitt and Villanueva could receive extensions over the summer.

Tuitt, who's coming off minor finger surgery, said he's not thinking about his contract but "if they see me being here long term, that's awesome."