The Pittsburgh Steelers were real lucky that center Fernando Velasco was unemployed after losing starter Maurkice Pouncey for the year in the season opener against the Tennessee Titans as the Georgia product has filled in admirable ever since he was signed. Because of his level play, a lot of the fan base, with good reason, is hoping that Velasco will be re-signed during the offseason. Velasco talked a little about the uncertainty that he faces in a recent interview on 93.7 The Fan.
“I understand the business, I understand the situation, this is his (Pouncey’s) team, this is his offense and it’s definitely his offensive line so I respect that and understand the nature of the business,” Velasco said. “Honestly, for me right now, I’m just enjoying the process, I’m just enjoying my role right now being the starting center and I’m just trying to get better each week. We’ll see what happens in March. I know one thing, I love it here.”
Should Velasco stay healthy for the rest of the season, he will have 15 more regular-season games as a starter on tape and that won’t go unnoticed by the time free agency rolls around. The Steelers won’t have a lot of cap space to dedicate to their offensive line, so they would likely lose out in a bidding war with another team that might possibly want him as their starter.
If Velasco is re-signed, it would likely be as a backup interior swing lineman, as I just can’t see the team moving Pouncey to left guard. A move such as that, if it were to happen, would also likely result in Ramon Foster being released. Also, while Velasco can play guard, center is easily his best position.
Instead of worrying about Velasco’s future right now with six games remaining in the season, just be grateful that the Steelers were able to get him into the fold this year to fill in for Pouncey. Like Velasco, we should be enjoying the process as it’s way too early to predict what will happen with him following the season.