2. Mason Cole, C (Pre-June 1 Cap Savings: $4.75 million)
Make no mistake, the Steelers have done a phenomenal job at starting to reshape the offensive line and do so quickly. Isaac Seumalo was a phneomenal signing for the franchise last offseason, Broderick Jones was inconsistent as a rookie but flashed, and we simply saw the unit as a whole be less of a problem.
The biggest exception to that, though, might be center Mason Cole. The former third-round pick out of Michigan struggled in just about every facet of the game imaginable in the 2023 season, grading out as only the 29th-best center in the NFL out of just 36 qualified players according to PFF. What's worse, that doesn't entirely take into account Cole's apparent inability to successfully snap the ball in the shotgun... which most would agree is a pretty important aspect of a center's job.
Though there's still a lot to play out, it would be a wise bet to say that this could be a position that Pittsburgh should be prioritizing when it comes to the NFL Draft. But even if they were to strike out there, they have a veteran in James Daniels who previously played some at center in his career, so they aren't devoid of options.
Amid Cole's struggles and his snapping yips, though, it doesn't make a great deal of sense to continue moving forward with him. For Arthur Smith to have any chance of succeeding, he needs to have a further upgraded line paving the way ahead of his offense. Cole is actively a hindrance to that, so expect the Steelers to take the $4.75 million in savings rather than keep him around.