Steelers connected to another free agent with Arthur Smith ties, and it's not Ryan Tannehill

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens
Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens / Rob Carr/GettyImages

Whenever the Pittsburgh Steelers hired Arthur Smith to take over as the team's new offensive coordinator, one of the easiest connections to make was to impending free agent quarterback Ryan Tannehill. His success under Smith with the Titans combined with the Steelers' massive question marks at the position made it an obvious fit from the jump and is still a possibility.

But Smith's connections to Tennessee could help the Steelers address more than just the need at quarterback.

Nick Farabaugh of Steelers Now made another connection to free agent center Aaron Brewer. The former undrafted free agent started the last two years for the Titans and is coming off of his best season as a pro in 2023 as he started all 17 games for Tennessee.

Perhaps more than just fitting with Smith as a super-athletic center, though, he would be an immediate upgrade from a massive issue with the Steelers offense from this past season.

Steelers' Arthur Smith connection to Aaron Brewer could upgrade from Mason Cole

Mason Cole has been a sore spot for the Steelers at center for some time now. He was nothing short of a disaster in the 2023 season and is now entering the final year of his contract with Pittsburgh. That doesn't mean that Pittsburgh can't look to move on sooner than that, however.

Brewer is a less-seasoned prospect that Cole at the position, but his progression at the pro level has been far more impressive. Based on the free agent's 2023 campaign, he would be an immediate upgrade in the run game over Cole and has the physical prowess to be more effective -- especially under Smith -- in the passing game as well.

Perhaps even more crucial for the Steelers would be the price tag. Brewer is going to be paid like a starting center because, well, that's what he is. However, he's not a top-of-market player, which should put him in the range of $6-8 million in average annual value. That's more than affordable in Pittsburgh's budget.

It'll be fascinating to see how often the Smith connection comes into play for the Steelers upon his arrival this offseason when free agency starts. But Brewer is another example of just how fruitful that could ultimately be for Pittsburgh as they venture into the 2024 season.

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