Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery was certainly worth every penny he was paid last season as not only did he mentor Markus Wheaton throughout his rookie season, he also chipped in 46 receptions for 602 yards and a team-high 10 touchdowns. Now, with Cotchery a little more than a week away from once again being an unrestricted free agent, the Steelers will more than likely do everything in their power to keep him around at least another season.
Despite his resurgence on the stat sheet last season, Cotchery, who will turn 32 in June, is a spot starter at best and best used on third downs or in three wide receiver sets. Had Wheaton not suffered a broken finger in the Week 4 loss in London to the Minnesota Vikings, Cotchery’s stats and playing time very well could have wound up being cut in half.
With Emmanuel Sanders likely to leave in a matter of weeks via a free agency, the Steelers will likely draft another young wide receiver in May and they’ll likely need Cotchery to once again serve as a number three receiver until that young player is ready to contribute on a regular basis.
Cotchery’s current free agent value is likely greater in Pittsburgh than it is around the rest of the league. Two years ago, he was allowed to test free agency and there just wasn’t a lot of interest in him from other teams. He ultimately re-signed with the Steelers and it was a two-year contract worth $3 million and included $2 million guaranteed.
So what exactly is Cotchery’s free agent value this offseason? Probably the same that it was two years ago. Another two-year deal exactly like the one he signed last go around would result in a $1.5 million cap hit in both 2014 and 2015. That should be very affordable for the Steelers and one would think that it would get done very quickly.
Even if Cotchery doesn’t wind up producing the kind of stats that he did last season, he earns his keep on the sidelines and in the locker room, and the Steelers could certainly use at least one more season of production like that.