Steelers Were Wise To Bring Back Jerricho Cotchery To Help Manage The Money

When the Pittsburgh Steelers re-signed veteran wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery prior to the 2012 NFL draft, they not only signed a proven veteran that is capable of serving as second, third or fourth wide receiver on the depth chart, they also signed a player that could help manage money, the Steelers young money wide receiver crew that is.

The last manager of the young money crew, that consist of Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, was Hines Ward and he did a masterful job of laying a solid investment foundation for the young trio of receivers. Ward was of course released this offseason and has since retired, but his money managing torch will now likely be carried on by the soon to be 30 year old Cotchery.

Cotchery understands the need for a veteran presence in the lockerroom and following the 2011 season he was asked about whether or not the young receivers in particular still needed a veteran presence around during an interview. Cotchery replied, “I think they are ready to carry the load on their own, but you always need a veteran presence in your room. That should be the case across the league. I think that any time you take that veteran presence out of the room, it kind of takes a hit a little bit, even with the talent that you have. So however everything plays out, I don\’t know how it\’s going to play out, those guys are ready to carry the load, but you definitely need a veteran presence.”

Cotchery had the luxury of being around all of last season to see how exactly things ran in the Steeler organization, and you can clearly tell in the interviews that he has given, that he understands and embraces the Steeler way of doing things. He was able to blend in last year without stepping on the toes of the veteran Ward and will now get the chance to emerge as one of the team leaders moving forward and a key contributor on offense in addition.

Wallace and Brown had tremendous success last season as both topped the 1,100 yard receiving mark. The duo has emerged as one of the most potent in the league right now and Sanders has also shown he has immense talent as well when he has been able to get on the field. All three are certainly headed in the right direction and Cotchery can certainly help make sure that direction keeps pointing in the same way that it has up until now.

Wallace, the eldest of the young money bunch, could miss most of the OTA sessions as he and the Steelers continue to hopefully hammer out a long term deal by the start of training camp, but that shouldn\’t serve as too big of a distraction. The fourth year receiver out of Mississippi is just doing what he believes he needs to do where his own personal money is concerned and you can\’t really fault him for that. Brown and Sanders on the other hand both should be present all summer long as they each get ready for their third season in the league. Both have shown nothing but poise during their first two seasons and should only need a nudge every now and again in the season ahead.

The Steelers money at wide receiver has been invested well over the last several years in the form of draft picks and it has certainly paid its share of dividends thus far. The young money crew just needs to be managed ever so slightly now without Ward around and Cotchery seems like the perfect fit for the job. The Steelers couldn\’t have invested their own money in a better money manager in my opinion.

The young money crew all have nicknames. Wallace is “Fast Money”, Brown is “Quick Money” and Sanders is “Easy Money”. Ward was even christened “Old Money” by the trio. The best nickname for Cotchery moving forward? How about “Money Clip”?

  • Eric87

    I would have to say the Steelers arguably have the best receiving corp in the league, but would have to say that Green Bay would be right next to us as well.

  • Eric87

    and though these guys get the job done and all 3 of the young guys are really fast and have immense talent, I am with Ben that it would be nice to have that Burress/Fitz type of body style. Sweed would have been perfect if not for his problems. Any guys on the roster that have that jump-ball mentality?

  • zbluez1

    IF ” Young Money ” really wants the ” See the Money, Show Me the Money! ” Jerry McGuire kind of treatment they are going to have to play ” Lights Out ” consistently. ” They have the talent, we don’t need to rebuild them, we have the veteran to lead them ” but they have to get over the ” Young Money ” ” Me First ” bovine excrement that at least in one case of the ” trio ” seems to be clogging his cogitative abilities, that could also be his agent, either way that crap has to go ! YES these guys could be PART of a championship core group that could possibly establish the next dynasty for the Steelers organization, but they are only a Part, not ALL that !

  • Jprankster2005

    How about Wallace is “Crazy Money” because that’s what he wants and will only be a Steeler for another yr. this kiss him goodbye……

  • Jprankster2005

    I was hoping they would trade Wallace and sign Burress to a deal for 3 or so yrs….. Wallace isn’t going to get the money he wants and he’s going to throw a fit like Desean Jackson did…… He already is proving that by not signing the tender…… Wish we could of got a first round for em…….

  • kevin

    Wallace has not shown any sort of issues like have been continuously shown by Desean Jackson. Your opinion is pure speculation without any evidence. Further, Burress is not even an average receiver at this point.

  • http://twitter.com/B1ueice12 Mike Livingston

    I would just be happy to be playing in the NFL period.

  • zbluez1

    I can agree with the ” Crazy Money ” part of your post ! Time and Omar Kahn will tell the rest !!!!

  • LouPGH

    I agree with Eric that top to bottom we have one of the best groups of WRs in the league. And so I’m going to defend Wallace. I don’t mean any disrespect or anything, just for the sake of being a contrarian.

    The rest of you need to stop hating on guys that are currently on the roster though. You think it’s an accident that AB emerged as Wallace got quiet last year? He made some nice catches and I love watching Brown play, but he had room to operate because defenses had to respect Wallace’s speed. In his first three years in the league, Wallace has been one of the most productive WRs in the history of the game. That’s a fact.

    We got him for cheap on the rookie contract and while his career may only be one-fifth (or sixth, or seventh) of the way over, if he blows out his knee next week it could end right then. So quit with the “He’s so selfish; I’d sell my mother to play in the NFL” bit. Hines held out. If AB continues to be as good as he’s been, we’ll be in the same spot. That’s probably the only downside to drafting ultra-productive rookies. The Steelers play hardball in contract negotiations and that’s fine, but you have to respect a guy’s right to capitalize on his abilities.

    It would have been silly to let your #1WR walk in his prime unless you can get a guy like AJ Green who can step in a be a legit #1. There was no guaranteed guy like that in this draft. So what good would it have done to trade him? If we had, we’d look a lot thinner at WR (especially with Sanders inability to stay healthy).

    They may very well not give Wallace a contract and then let him walk next year. If they do it will be because they think he’s maxed out his potential. Maybe they’re waiting to see if he can handle the added attention from defenses (a common knock on him in the second half of last season). I don’t think Wallace wants to let it go there, which is why I think he eventually signs a deal on the Steelers terms. (Also, I don’t think the Steelers want to take it there either.)

    If you think think it’s not a good investment, because we’ve seen the best of Wallace, that’s a different thing. Although that’s a bet I’m willing to take you up on.

  • SteelSpine

    Nice, haheh!

  • Fish

    You can’t blame the guy for trying to get all he can get, especially with the chance of injury as you mentioned. He’s high (with his salary request) and the Steelers are low, it’s negotiating, they’ll hopefully meet at what he’s really worth.

    Although he’s a nice player with good numbers I think the numbers are a product of the team more so than the individual. I really believe that you could put another speed guy in his position and get the same results. You can’t overpay for an individual like that when it’s readily available in the form of a 4th round draft pick or later every year that you could get on the cheap for 5 years on a rookie contract. Now if we were talking about someone with AB’s talents the same could not be said. Speaking of AB, I believe he is the #1 regardless of what the roster says.

    That said I like Mike as he’s proved to be a good young man and I hope he sticks around with a fair deal. I think this will be the case and I doubt that he would ever become a cancer like Jackson was/is with the Eagles, it just doesn’t seem to be in the guy’s makeup. I don’t see Mike doing much more than what he’s doing now though, which is fine, it’s enough. I’d have to take you up on that action Lou :)