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Steelers Cut Ties with Center Mason Cole

The Pittsburgh Steelers are cutting center Mason Cole in the first move the team has made in a few weeks.



Pittsburgh Steelers center Mason Cole
Pittsburgh Steelers center Mason Cole in a game against the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 15, 2024. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers are cutting center Mason Cole, the team announced on Friday. This is the fourth release the team has executed this offseason, following the releases of quarterback Mitch Trubisky, offensive tackle Chuks Okorafor, and punter Pressley Harvin III. Cole was set to enter the third year of a three-year deal that he signed in the 2022 offseason. By releasing him, the team saves $4.75 million while incurring $1.521 million in dead money, according to Over the Cap.

The team is now without a starting center. If the depth chart were released now, Nate Herbig would likely be there. James Daniels and Spencer Anderson can play at that spot, but there are other connections in free agency to watch. Titans center Aaron Brewer, who played under Arthur Smith, is a free agent. In addition, Jackson Powers-Johnson, Zach Frazier, and Graham Barton are all intriguing options to fill the void.

The veteran market for centers is plentiful along with those top three centers, so the Steelers seem poised to fix center in maybe both areas of the offseason. It has become an issue for far too long since the retirement of Maurkice Pouncey after the team missed on Kendrick Green, and then Cole’s play fell off a cliff this season.

Arthur Smith’s offense has pegged itself as one that needs an athletic center, and that will be the mold they look at in this draft. Cole came over from the Minnesota Vikings, where he was a guard, but the team worked him at center from the outset, where he started for the team for two seasons. In 2023, he allowed the fourth-most pressures among centers and was marred with snapping issues for the entire season.

Cole was a third-round pick in 2018 and started all 16 games in his rookie season. He became the leader of the offensive line room, which was in peril for much of the year with up-and-down play. But now, the team is turning over a new leaf and hopes to fix the offensive line once and for all finally.