The Steelers have re-signed offensive tackle Zach Banner to a two-year contract, Banner announced on Twitter on Tuesday.
Banner, who had been an unrestricted free agent, will earn $9.5 million over the next two seasons with a $3.25 million signing bonus guaranteed, according to a report by Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network.
“Pittsburgh is going to be my home,” Banner said. “I’m really, really excited for the opportunity from Kevin Colbert and Coach Tomlin and especially Mr. Rooney. I’m really happy to be here in Pittsburgh.”
Let’s get to work… pic.twitter.com/OW0zfOobu0
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) March 16, 2021
Banner entered the 2020 season as the Steelers’ starting right tackle, beating out Chukwuma Okorafor in a training camp battle for the position that was vacated when Matt Feiler moved to left guard.
But his stint as a starter was short, when Banner’s 2020 season was cut short by an ACL injury suffered in the regular season opener against the New York Giants in September.
Banner, 27, has spent two seasons in Pittsburgh since signing with the team as a street free agent in August 2018 after being released by the Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers.
After not seeing any playing time in the 2018 season, Banner became the Steelers’ top backup at tackle in 2019, following Matt Feiler’s promotion to starter at tackle. He did well in that role and as the team’s jumbo tight end.
Banner became a fan favorite in 2019 that role, with the official designating him as an eligible receiver with an audible announcement because of his usually ineligible No. 72 uniform generating cheers from the crowd.
Banner will almost assuredly slot into one of the Steelers’ starting tackle spots, with Okorafor, who replaced Banner after his injury in 2020, manning the other. Veteran starting left tackle Alejandro Villanueva is a free agent and is not expected to return to the team.