In late February Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Zach Banner indicated he would be taking a hiatus from social media until he agreed to a new NFL contract. So when he returned to Twitter on Monday with a tweet that seemed to tease good news, it became clear that a contract announcement was imminent.
On Tuesday Banner released a one-minute video revealing that he will be remaining with the Steelers in 2021, saying, “I wanted to be the first to tell you guys that Pittsburgh is going to be my home.”
He went on to say he’s “really, really excited and grateful for the opportunity from Kevin Colbert, coach Tomlin especially, and Mr. Rooney.”
Aditi Kinkhabwala of ESPN subsequently replied to Banner’s tweet, revealing that Banner is signing a two-year contract worth $9.5 million, one that includes a $3.25 million signing bonus.
ALL the latest Steelers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Steelers newsletter here!
Zach Banner Now a Key Part of Pittsburgh’s O-Line Future
Banner is the second offensive lineman to sign with the Steelers in recent days, following on the heels of guard/center B.J. Finney, who returns to Pittsburgh on a one-year deal after leaving for Seattle in free agency a year ago. Finney found himself unable to break into the lineup with the Seahawks, who went on to trade him to the Cincinnati Bengals in October of last year. Finney’s year-long round-trip ended earlier this month when he was released by the Bengals, allowing him to return to Pittsburgh.
Yet the Steelers are no doubt hoping that Banner can return from the torn ACL he suffered in last year’s season opener and regain the starting job at right tackle. Or perhaps transition to left tackle, which would allow former third-round pick Chuks Okorafor to hold down the right tackle spot, where he played last year after Banner got hurt.
Banner has come a long way since he was cut by the Indianapolis Colts just four months after the Colts selected him in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He subsequently spent time with the Carolina Panthers and Cleveland’s winless 2017 team before finding a permanent home with the Steelers.
Banner’s Announcement Comes Amidst a Wave of Defections in Free Agency
During the above-referenced video clip, Banner noted that today is a bittersweet day for him, as a handful of his teammates have left in free agency. That includes fellow offensive lineman Matt Feiler, who has reportedly agreed to a three-year contract with the Los Angeles Chargers.
In the past 24 hours, the Steelers have also lost cornerback Mike Hilton to the Cincinnati Bengals, as well as outside linebacker Bud Dupree, who has reportedly agreed to a five-year $82.5 million contract with the Tennesee Titans. Meanwhile, defensive tackle Tyson Alualu has reportedly agreed to a two-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Follow the Heavy on Steelers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
• Steelers Ink GM Kevin Colbert to Contract Extension
• RFA Linebacker ‘Plans to Sign’ With Steelers
• Lions Release Ex-Steelers Tight End