He will turn 26 in May, spent his first three NFL seasons with Tennessee and played last season with the Dolphins and Bills. He has 78 career catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. He had 10 receptions for 189 yards and four touchdowns last season.
A second-round pick of the Titans in 2013, Hunter (6-4, 205) will add depth to a receiving corps that remains uncertain until the Steelers learn the fate of Martavis Bryant, who is awaiting reinstatement from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after missing last season under an NFL drug suspension.
Last season, due to Bryant’s suspension and the injuries to Markus Wheaton and others, the Steelers were counting on inexperienced receivers such as Cobi Hamilton and Demarcus Ayers. Hunter will compete against them for a roster spot during training camp.
Villanueva earns big
For the second consecutive year, Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva made more than $300,000 in bonuses and nearly doubled his 2016 salary in performance based pay.
According to the NFL, under the performance-based pay system, a fund is created and used as a supplemental form of player compensation based on a comparison of playing time to salary. A player’s regular-season play time (total plays on offense, defense and special teams) is divided by his adjusted regular-season compensation (full season salary, prorated portion of signing bonus, earned incentives). Each player’s index is then compared to those of the other players on his team to determine the amount of his pay.
Villsanueva’s base salary was $480,000.
Ray Fittipaldo: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @rayfitt1.
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