The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver that has been in the news the most this past week has of course been Hines Ward. The Steelers have yet to make a decision on Ward returning in 2012 according to Steelers GM Kevin Colbert on Monday and Colbert also added that the Steelers likely will not be able to sign any of their own free agents before March 13th because of salary cap issues. One of their unrestricted free agents that they might be hoping to resign is wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who they signed to one-year deal last August.
Cotchery was sidelined early in the season with a hamstring injury, but saw an increased roll late in the season as the role of Ward was greatly reduced. Despite playing a little over 300 snaps on offense for the Steelers in 2011, Cotchery registered just 16 regular season catches for 237 yards and 2 touchdowns. He noted in an interview after the Steelers season ended that he hoped to return to the Steelers in 2012.
On Monday Cotchery stated again that returning to the Steelers would be an “the ideal situation” according to Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger and said that in his exit meetings with the Steelers they told him that they were very pleased with him and who he was both on the field and off the field, and that they definitely wanted him back. He is currently back in New Jersey now working out, according to Vrentas, and hinted that he was hoping to sign a four or five-year deal with the Steelers.
While Cotchery would continue to be a great fit with the Steelers, it will come down to how much attention he gets early on in free agency and what his market value is. Considering he had less than 20 catches last year, that could play in the favor of the Steelers. Cotchery would also likely have to accept the role of being a number 4 receiver on the depth chart behind Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.
The good thing about Cotchery right now is that he is still singing the same song about the Steelers that he did when the season ended. He seems genuinely interested in returning. It will be interesting to see if he gets attention from other teams shortly after the initial rush of the free agency period begins in March.
he came up big in the playoff loss
Cotch is a linebacker in WR body. Think of Harkeem Nicks or Bolden of other teams.
Cotch is a strong addition to the team and could be the X-factor for another championship run. Imagine the lockeroom with out Cotch? We need this guy, Kevin Colbert… Give Cotch a second season to get better adjusted… he’ll produce.
The proverbial nail in Wards coffin?
I presume he wants some of that guaranteed, otherwise a longer deal favors the team rather than the individual. I don’t know what his market value is going to be, but if he can be had for 1-1.2 million per year for 4 years, that’s reasonable for a quality #4. He may see himself as something more than a #4 and have a point, though.
Well at this point in his career, I think he only wants two things. One being with a stable organization, and another is getting a Super Bowl
Whether Hines is gone or not for this coming season, he is obviously not the same player as a few years back. Also, it was reasonable for most everyone to want Holmes to be gone, since he couldn’t seem to control his off the field habits. This is why (although unlikely) it would be a real benefit for Pittsburgh, if Cotchery stayed with the Steelers. Many people, fans and media alike, talk of the pure talent upgrade of the current three main receivers on the team… over what Pittsburgh had with Ward & Holmes. But, presently, are these three nearly as good (as Hines & Holmes were) at making the tough catch, at crucial times in the biggest moments? Cotchery seems to helps boost the receiving cores confidence to make the big play, when those plays are most needed.
If they let Hines walk, they almost have to re-sign Cotch. He is the only other possession guy on the roster. I would like to see them keep him.
Cotchery is dreaming, just not worth more than a one year deal. Doesn’t he see that the Steelers are 20 million over the cap
On most other rosters, Cotchery is at least a #3 WR.
With Saunders gone (and who knows if he’ll ever pan out), Sanders’ health problems, and little to no production out of Hines, I think a sure handed possession receiver like Cotchery is a great asset to have. I’d put that group of WRs plus Heath up against any other team in the NFL and argue they’re the best top-to-bottom. If it turns out one of our RBs can catch the ball out of the backfield, AR2 can pretty much forget about running the ball.
Dave, what odds would you put on losing him in FA, and you’re the resident cap expert, for what number/contract terms could they afford to keep him?
Steelers need to make this happen so they can send Hines Ward packing at the same time.
Cothery will be and has been an Excellent Steeler. Thank you Hines!
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