Report: Steelers Still Expected To Re-sign C/G Fernando Velasco Later In The Summer

The Pittsburgh Steelers have already re-signed unrestricted free agent offensive linemen Cody Wallace and Guy Whimper since the start of the new league year and despite those moves, one beat writer still expects another will be re-signed before the start of training camp.

According to Monday report by Jim Wexell of Steel City Insiders, the Steelers are expected to re-sign center/guard Fernando Velasco later in the summer as soon as the torn Achilles’ he suffered late in the Week 13 game against the Baltimore Ravens is completely healed.

With Wallace now locked up for three years, he figures to be the primary backup at center behind starter Maurkice Pouncey. Should Velasco ultimately be re-signed, he would likely compete for an interior swingman job during training camp.

New Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak is very familiar with what Velasco brings to the table as he coached him for several seasons when the two were with the Tennessee Titans.

Velasco, who was originally signed by the Titans as an undrafted free agent back in 2008 out of Georgia, started 11 games at center for the Steelers in 2013 after being signed to replace Pouncey, who was lost for the year to a knee injury in the season opener against the Titans.

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  • Kevin Gobleck

    He’d be a nice addition for depth and as a spot starter, being as he can play all interior positions of the O-line

  • Luke Shabro

    I was hoping for this even when they signed Cody. Cody is healthy, Velasco still has to get there. Velasco is guard capable, Wallace is guard capable. The worst thing that happens is you keep both Velasco and Wallace and your interior has Pouncey, DeCastro, Foster, Velasco, Wallace and maybe Embernasty. No need to draft an interior OL or keep a guy like Guy Whimper past training camp. Best case scenario and we know Velasco or Wallace can play if need be.

  • James Kling

    Hope they do. Looks like they’re waiting for med progress and the post-6/1 cap clearance, smartly.

  • cp72

    The only silver lining to our maddening o-line injuries is we have found a few guys that provide quality depth.

    If Beachum and DeCastro keep developing and Pouncey is near 100 percent we could have a one of the best young lines in the game. Not to mention we now have one of the most respected o-line coach in the NFL.

  • Matt Manzo

    I still don’t understand why he needed Fosters help with the snap count and Wallace didn’t?!

  • NW86

    I don’t honestly understand this. Nothing against Velasko, but he, Pouncey, and Wallace are all primarily centers. Will there really be room for 3 centers on the team? I know they can play guard in a pinch too, but I presume Velasko would have to beat out Embernate for that job, and wouldn’t Embernate be the better candidate at guard considering he is the younger, cheaper option with more upside?

    I have no problem with signing Velasko at vet minimum with no guarantees to compete for a spot, but if I were him I would be looking at the depth chart and looking for another team where I felt I had a better chance at making the roster.

  • Arthur Branch

    As of now all we have is Embernate’s reputation, he has not taken a snap in a regular season game. Velasko showed that he can play in our offense. He is also familiar with Munshak’s zone blocking scheme.

  • 20Stoney

    I would hate to see him take a spot from a young guy with potential, especially if it’s only a one year prove it type deal.

  • Steve

    Cody Wallace and Fernando Valasko are same age 29, same hight 6-4 and about the same weight. Only differenece Valesco made 2 mil and Cody made vet minimum $615,000. Let em duke it out in camp and may the best OL make the team.

  • Cody Turner

    Honestly i wouldnt be opposed to signing velasco and have him an cody wallace fight for starting center and trade maurkice pouncey for a first round draft pick. Im almost sold he is gone after his contract so my as well cash in now.

  • dgh57

    When Velasko started week 2 he had less than a week prep time to learn the snap counts. Wallace started with 4 games left therefore he had several weeks(more time)to learn what the snap counts were.

  • Matt Manzo

    Do you think Pouncey will want too much money, or that we don’t want him?

  • Cody Turner

    i think he will want to much money based on his production. Also i think we will go to try play with his brother in miami. honestly 6-2 without him and line gelling together if get a 1st for him i make that trade.

  • pat

    I stated something similar to this earlier and someone gave me some good imput on why we cant 1 he is coming off a torn acl and in the last yr of his contract a team wont trade a high pick for him seeing as it would be a 1yr thing. I got to agree with him but if we can trade for a first im all for it id trade him and our 1st and 4th for a 1st round top ten pick and there 2nd and 3rd round picks

  • shawn

    sounds like the best plan … but we already locked up Cody for a few yrs ..

  • Matt Manzo

    I keep thinking his injuries could keep his cost down.
    It would suck to see another young player leave, but especially cuz I thought he’d lock the center position down for years to come!
    Depends on how much he wants to stay in Pitt?
    If he has a chance to play with his brother he’d probably take it.
    Maybe a trades not a bad idea?

  • Steve

    Only 450 th are Guarantee, so if he is cut thats his cap #.

  • Jeff

    If we get him back, for the first time in a while I’ll feel pretty good about the depth of this offensive line.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    especially with Embernate emerging as a nasty guard

  • steeltown

    With his ties to Munchak, I sort of think this will happen. He’ll be another experienced body to at the very least compete in camp.

  • steeltown

    The only thing is if C.Wallace, Velasco and Whimper all make the 53man, barring injury and taking into consideration that Whimper can backup RT, Embernate will be the odd man out… unless they carry 10OL which is unlikely, I guess we’ll see, someone always suffers an injury early on, so more the merrier

  • Babybull

    Think he still living off his rookie year I’ll trade for 2nd round pick no ones going to give 1st rd for him.