The Pittsburgh Steelers have rewarded left tackle Alejandro Villanueva with a contract extension, so at least they will not have to worry about him holding out. Meanwhile, the Oakland Raiders announced they are parting ways with starting tackle Austin Howard and veteran running back Taiwan Jones.

Steelers reward Villanueva with extension

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Alejandro Villanueva have come to an agreement on a four-year, $24 million contract extension, as first reported by NFL Network. Villanueva had not been under contract with the team before the deal since he had not yet signed his exclusive rights tender worth $615,000.

The 28-year-old took over as the team's left tackle in the middle of 2015 after Kevin Beachum got injured and has held the job since. He has played in all 32 games, starting 26 of them for the Steelers.

Villanueva went undrafted out of Army in 2010 and had a tryout with the Bengals but was not signed. He then went into military service before trying out with the Bears in 2012, but once again did not get signed. After finishing his military service in 2014 the Eagles signed him to be a defensive end. He was cut by the Eagles during the preseason but signed by the Steelers, who moved him to offensive lineman. He spent 2014 on their practice squad and the rest in history.

Raiders part ways with Howard

A source has informed ESPN's Adam Schefter that the Oakland Raiders are planning to release Austin Howard. In 2014, the team signed him to a five-year, $30 million deal. After three seasons in which Howard played in 40 games and started 39 of them, his time with the silver-and-black is up.

Releasing the 30-year-old creates $4.9 million in cash savings for the team.

This move had been months in the making as the Raiders wanted to get younger and cheaper at right tackle, especially since Howard was getting injury prone his last two season. They signed 28-year-old Marshall Newhouse to a two-year, $3.5 million contract in the offseason.

The team also drafted two offensive tackles in the fourth and seventh rounds of the draft.

Raiders also move on from Taiwan Jones

The Oakland Raiders also released veteran Taiwan Jones. Jones was selected by the team in the fourth round of the 2011 draft and was the third-longest tenured player on the team before his release. During his time with the team Jones played running back, receiver, kick returner and on special teams. Now that Jones has been released, kicker Sebastian Janikowski is the last player on the Raiders to have been selected in the draft by Al Davis.

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