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Should the Steelers look at free agent outside linebacker Trent Cole?

The veteran was released from the Eagles Tuesday, allowing him a head start in free agency. The Steelers could sign the 32-year-old Cole, who should receive a healthy amount of attention as an outside linebacker as well as a defensive end.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

More of the talk among the available 3-4 outside linebackers this free agency period is with Brandon Graham.

Perhaps his Eagles teammate, Trent Cole, will get into the mix now.

The Steelers are primed to move on from OLB Jason Worilds, and doing so will leave them, as of now, without a starting left outside linebacker. Cole was productive in Philadelphia in 2014, but a new regime led by head coach Chip Kelly (who will trade longstanding Eagles centerpiece running back LeSean McCoy to Buffalo for Kiko Alonso) is leading to some changes.

Cole's salary was in question, and the two sides reportedly failed to come to an agreement on a modified deal, sending the 32-year-old Cole into early free agency. He's free to sign with any team now.

Graham, a back-up in Philadelphia, isn't expected to be retained either, and he's free to begin negotiations with teams on March 7, leading into the March 10 start of the signing period of free agency.

Either option may appear to be positive for the Steelers. Graham is younger and is likely seeking a starting role. With that, Graham may be more affordable in a long-term deal than Cole may be worth. Both were drafted to be 4-3 defensive ends, and both therefore have some scheme versatility working in their favor.

The Steelers need a stand-up pass-rusher off the defensive left side. One with experience, like Cole, may be an attractive option, if only as a means to bridge the gap for the future. The team is likely to address the position in the upcoming draft, and still can sign pending free agent Arthur Moats, penciling him as the starter opposite Jarvis Jones heading into the offseason program.

Options are available, as the Steelers have freed up salary cap space, presumably to help retain a few key pending free agents and possibly make a signing or two from the outside.