4 Steelers players who won't be back in 2024

The Steelers are desperate for spending money, and these four players won't be returning next season.

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Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Mason Cole, C

Following a 2021 season that consisted of a young offensive line and abysmal OL play, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed a pair of interior offensive linemen during the 2022 free agency period: James Daniels and Mason Cole. Daniels has more or less met expectations with his new team, but Cole has been an utter disappointment.

After a respectable season in 2022, Cole's play dipped significantly in his 6th NFL season in 2023. Pittsburgh failed to address the center position in free agency or the draft last year, so the job was essentially handed to Cole. He couldn't do enough to take advantage of his opportunities and he was often the weakest link on the offensive line this past season.

While the Steelers still don't have a long-term answer at center on their roster, they are likely to make a preemptive move by releasing Mason Cole. The veteran offensive lineman is set to have a cap number of over $6.2 million in 2024 -- which is a lot of money to give out to a player who should be an interior backup.

Cole is a good enough player to be on the Steelers roster as a backup to both the guard and center positions, but Pittsburgh cannot justify keeping him around at his current price tag. Cole will be gone during the 2024 offseason.