Steelers Rumors: 4 centers Pittsburgh must target after releasing Mason Cole

Pittsburgh Steelers C Mason Cole
Pittsburgh Steelers C Mason Cole / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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The prayers of a multitude of Pittsburgh Steelers fans were answered on Friday when the franchise cut the starting center from the 2023 season, Mason Cole. Even with a breadth of starting experience under his belt, Cole's underperformance made him and easy target for cap-saving measures and, just as importantly, where the Steelers could upgrade this offseason.

Whether or not Pittsburgh released Cole didn't eliminate the need at center, though. It was always a clear area where the team could upgrade and likely would pursue options to do so. With the decision to let the veteran interior lineman loose, however, that need becomes much more pressing and moves it well up the team's list of priorities for the offseason.

So what options do the Steelers have to replace Cole and find a starting center? Free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft appear like the most likely avenues and, in that regard, four candidates stick out more than the others as the best options for Pittsburgh to pursue.

4. Reunite Aaron Brewer with Arthur Smith on the Steelers

The increased salary cap sitting at $255.4 million does indeed give the Steelers more flexibility than they otherwise would've had on the books going into the 2024 offseason, sitting at around $12 million for the Top 51 on the roster. That total could increase with further cuts and restructures, but that still has to take shape.

Even with that, with a need at quarterback, elsewhere on the offensive line, and in the secondary, the Steelers will likely have to work prudently when it comes to financial situations this offseason. That could mean looking in the bargain bin to replace Cole, which is where someone like Aaron Brewer could come into play.

Brewer signed with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2020, when Arthur Smith was the offensive coordinator there. Now in Pittsburgh after his stint as the Falcons head coach, the ultra-athletic center who started there for the Titans in 2023 would make a ton of sense.

The former UDFA's movement abilities and athleticism fit ideally in the run game with what Smith likes to do, hence why he was brought in by the regime that included Smith with the Titans. Given his still-processing development but steady improvement, he could come relatively cheaply and still represent an upgrade over Cole for the Steelers.