Connect with us

Steelers News

Another Starting Center Hits the Free Agent Market



Pittsburgh Steelers OLB T.J. Watt Baltimore Ravens OL Bradley Bozeman
Baltimore Ravens guard Bradley Bozeman blocks Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt during a game at M&T Bank Stadium on Nov. 2, 2020. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Yet another starting center is set to hit the free agent market for the Pittsburgh Steelers and other center-needy teams when the contact periods opens on Monday afternoon.

The Carolina Panthers are set to release center Bradley Bozeman by the start of the new league year, according to a report by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Bozeman, 29, has experience at both center and guard and had been a five-year NFL starter. Bozeman had been entering the second year of a three-year, $18 million contract, and was due a $1.5 million roster bonus on March 16. His release will save the Panthers $4.4 million in salary cap space, but create a $3.3 million dead cap hit.

Originally a sixth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens out of Alabama in 2018, Bozeman is familiar with the AFC North. He started one game at left guard for the Ravens as a rookie in 2018 before assuming the starting mantle at that spot in 2019. He played every game but one over the next three seasons in Baltimore, moving from left guard to center in 2021.

He signed a one-year deal with the Panthers in 2022 before re-signing last spring.

Bozeman is the latest in a number of starting centers to be released this offseason, including Mitch Morse of the Buffalo Bills and Brian Allen of the Los Angeles Rams. In addition, starters Aaron Brewer of the Tennessee Titans, Lloyd Cushenberry of the Denver Broncos, Andre James of the Las Vegas Raiders, Evan Brown of the Seattle Seahawks, Tyler Biadasz of the Dallas Cowboys and Lucas Patrick of the Chicago Bears are set to become unrestricted free agents.

The Steelers released starting center Mason Cole last month, and are certainly in the market to replace him this offseason, whether that’s through free agency, the 2024 NFL Draft, or both.

“You know at the center position, there’s a high standard here,” general manager Omar Khan said last week.“I got spoiled. Man, I was around Maurkice Pouncey and Jeff Hartings during my time here. Obviously, there’s Dermotti Dawson. There were plenty of great centers here. There’s a high standard, so we owe it to ourselves to look at everything to find the next great Steelers center.”

The club has already brought Morse in for a free agent visit, but he left without a contract on Friday.