One center at each price range the Steelers could target in free agency

Mason Cole is gone and the Steelers need to sign one of these upgrades at center in Free Agency

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills
New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills / Timothy T Ludwig/GettyImages

It has become obvious that the Steelers want to fix their offensive line. They invested in different contracts through free agency and high draft picks over the past couple of years. After some of those deals failed and other draft picks that haven't progressed enough, Pittsburgh seems primed to find solutions outside of their roster.

Right now, the black and gold need to get under the cap ceiling to be compliant in the NFL. They have plenty of pathways to not only get under the cap but open significant spending money. They will need to work their magic to get there if they wish to be active in free agency. One position of need that needs an upgrade is at the center spot.

Mason Cole was terrible during his tenure as the starting center for the Steelers nearly two years ago. He had a decent debut but significantly regressed in his second campaign with the team. He was one of the worst centers in the league and was released to save money.

Pittsburgh has to open their options at potential upgrades over Cole both in free agency and the draft. Here are three players they could sign in free agency at different price points.

Cheap free agent option: Cody Whitehair has experience but is coming off a down year

It was a rough season for Cody Whitehair and the entire Chicago Bears offense last year. He has been over at guard for about three years now in Chicago, but the best days of his career came when he was a center. That position flexibility of playing both guard and center will interest the Steelers when they start to make decisions.

Again, Whitehair is probably not the same player he once was as he will be 32 years old by the time next season begins. He had a terrible year, and it graded out worse than Cole. That is a problem, but the hope with this signing would be a buy-low option.

Whitehair shouldn't command too much money on the open market after being a cap casualty. He provides position flexibility and could bring his game back to a quality level back at center.

Reasonable free agent option: The Steelers have been linked to Mitch Morse

Pittsburgh is getting to work early on potential additions in free agency. We know that Russell Wilson flew into town to discuss a potential marriage with the Steelers at the end of this past week. We also know that the black and gold are reportedly interested in adding a center to fill their void in the starting lineup. With Cole gone, there are plenty of avenues to upgrade the positions this offseason.

The Steelers could always add someone in the draft, but reports are now out there that Mitch Morse will meet with the club. He was just cut by the Buffalo Bills as a cap casualty. The long-time starter was a piece of their roster that they could not afford to keep around. The Bills had a giant cap issue, and that led to a roster purge.

Morse is someone that should get interest from around the NFL. The Steelers seem primed to try their best to get him in their door first. That dream seems to be a reality if the reports are to be believed. He is someone who would be much better than Cole ever was in the black and gold uniform. He is getting older so that could be a concern.

He will be 32 years old by the time next season comes around. Even though there is an aging concern, he remains one of the better players in his position. If the Steelers can sign him to a reasonable deal that doesn't go past a two-year mark, then it will work out.

Morse is a great leader and veteran that is respected around the league. Because of his age, a contract for Morse should come at a reasonable price. It's not a long-term fix, but it's a start.

Pricey free agent option: Lloyd Cushenberry III is one of the best on the market

The center position is a spot that gets little love, but you get hit hard by the realization of how important they are when they are done. Cole was a quality locker room guy, but what you show on the field will always be the litmus test for any NFL player. Cole was never great on the field, and that caused the offensive line to suffer.

Lloyd Cushenberry III has been the starting center for the Denver Broncos since they drafted him back in 2020. He was a third-round pick in that draft and is someone who has gotten better with every season. He is now scheduled to become a free agent, and plenty of teams should show interest in him based on his show of progression and starting experience.

It is unknown the exact market that Cushenbery will command, but he should get a contract near Brewer's or potentially more lucrative than that. If Pittsburgh is serious about upgrading their starting center spot once and for all, signing Cushenberry would be a great fit. He has shown steady progression despite a setback season where he suffered an injury in 2022.

He would be a nice fit in Smith's offense. He might be one of the most quality-proven starters on this list. He started his career poorly but has shown that he continues to improve. He would be a tremendous option to upgrade over Cole. You would likely need to cut Cole with most of these free-agent options, but it would be a necessity if they decided to offer Cushenberry a contract.

Next. 5 NFL cap casualties the Steelers must target in free agency. 5 NFL cap casualties the Steelers must target in free agency. dark