Steelers release starting center Mason Cole, save $5M

play
Graziano: Justin Fields would make Steelers' offense scarier (1:21)

Dan Graziano says Justin Fields is better suited to lead the Steelers' offense than Kenny Pickett is. (1:21)

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers are on the hunt for a new starting center.

The team announced the release of Mason Cole, who started 34 games in Pittsburgh after being acquired in free agency two seasons ago.

The move clears nearly $5 million in cap space, giving the Steelers even more flexibility with the $30 million increase in cap space announced by the league earlier Friday afternoon.

Cole, who will be 28 next month, had one year left on a three-year, $15.7 million contract signed in 2022. Though Cole, a 2018 third-round pick by the Arizona Cardinals, was a leader on the offensive line and in the locker room, he was inconsistent in his snaps throughout the season, prompting the Steelers to search for an upgrade at the position.

The team has the No. 20 pick in April's draft and closely evaluated offensive linemen at the Senior Bowl earlier this month.