Categorized | Article, Free Agents

Doubtful Steelers Are Waiting For Sanders Feet To Drop Before Re-signing Cotchery


In his latest update on the tour across the Unite States of unrestricted free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, Scott Brown of ESPN.com reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers are still open to re-signing their former third-round draft pick on their terms. If true, then one could easily speculate that being the reason as to why we haven’t seen fellow Steelers unrestricted free agent wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery being re-signed.

Per Brown’s earlier report, teams might not be willing to give Sanders the kind of money he’s seeking because of the problems he’s had in the past with his feet, even though the SMU product hasn’t missed a game over the course of the last two seasons. The Steelers would know Sanders’ medical history better than anyone else, so there could be some level of truth to Brown’s report.

Earlier reports from this past week have stated the Steelers being in contact with Cotchery, but there’s probably no rush to get a deal done right now until the veteran wide receiver gets an offer from another team. Prior to him being re-signed two offseasons ago, Cotchery received very little interest on the free agent market, but after catching 46 passes for 602 yards for a team-high 10 touchdowns last season, he probably wants to shop his services for at least little while before signing, what could be, the last contract of his NFL career.

According to the latest NFLPA update, the Steelers currently have $3,469,434.00 in available cap space, but that’s with 63 players under contract, which appears to be one short of the actual number. So in reality, they’re likely closer to being just $3 million under and you can now see where this would present a problem as it relates to affording either Sanders or Cotchery, in addition to possibly free agent defensive end Alex Carrington, who was in town for a visit on Friday.

The Steelers will eventually receive another $8 million in cap space come June 2 when the release of LaMarr Woodley officially hits the books, but until that time, they will either have to get linebacker Jason Worilds signed to a long-term deal or restructure the contract of linebacker Lawrence Timmons in order to free up more cap space.

With the above said, unless Sanders is really is wanting to take a very cheap one-year deal, it’s hard to fathom him returning to the Steelers in 2014 as surely there will be another team willing to pay him more, troubled feet and all.

As far as Cotchery goes, the delay of re-signing him is likely because of him just wanting to get a good look around as to what his market value is and especially considering that the Baltimore Ravens just signed veteran wide receiver Steve Smith to a three-year deal worth $11 million. Smith, by the way, will turn 35 in May while Cotchery will only turn 32 in June.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steelster

    I have some serious doubts about resigning cotchery because he doesn’t fit into the long term plans and I’m not sure he fits into the short term plans. I say let him walk.

  • shawn

    i loved what he did … but i dont think i would have a prob with letting him go if they are confident in getting a WR early that could play right away (top 4rounds) … if not then i think they need him for one more year !

  • Kevin Gobleck

    I hope we get Cotchery back, some of the most reliable hands on the team! well except for Ike, he never drops it….Haha

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Sorry, but I disagree with you there. They need Cotch, especially on 3rd downs and he will help in the red zone. The only way around that would be to go all-in on a 1st round WR, that must be tall, expecting him to be your no. 2 and being great in the red zone.

  • steelster

    yes, I agree with you on getting that number 2 WR early in the draft. That way you can put wheaton in the slot who has way more talent than cotchery. They drafted wheaton in the 3rd round for a reason lets see what he can do. cotch would help add experience and depth but what price do you pay a guy that could end up being the number 4 guy who can’t play on special teams. The money that goes towards cotch would be better off going towards signing a decent backup rb. If bell gets hurt we are screwded.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Anyone thinking about not re-signing Cotch is insane. He’s nothing but reliable. He’s the rock of this receiving corps. People are talking like he’s the 2011 Hines Ward. Wake up. Ideally, Cotch will serve as the team’s #4 (once our rookie gets up to speed and passes him on the depth chart), but until then, he’s a solid, consistent #3. With everything going on this offseason, the Steelers NEED reliable and consistent anywhere they can get it.

  • steelster

    cotch is a one year fix. Many tall wr will be available in the 2nd and 3rd rounds who can fill the number 2 wr position.

  • dgh57

    Forget Sanders! He had his shot with us with average results at best. We are looking for a WR that can stretch the field opposite A. Brown and he doesn’t qualify for that. It’s time to move on with a draft full of promising WRs that do fit that criterion.

  • steelster

    they need for a number 2 running back is more important than spending money on a number 4 guy that is a one year fix. Spend cotch’s money on that number 2 back

  • mlc43

    I agree with a lot that’s being said on here. Cotch is absolutely a one year fix. He may also be a two year fix. He is also a pretty solid fix. He isn’t a superstar but he is a solid contributer and has great chemistry with our Qb. Losing him wouldn’t be the end of the world but I would rather sign him. Here is to hoping we do.

  • afrazier9

    I like sanders but really fill like cothery makes the plays that are big

  • Steve

    Don’t you know it? Sander had his chance and was mediocre at best. Brown can run back kicks. Need new blood in the Draft at the WR position .

  • Milliken Steeler

    First and foremost, I want it to be clear I love my Steelers and Im not here to insist on peoples firing etc like some over the top people are.

    That being said, I’m here to discuss the quandary we are in because of “some” of the people not all, that left. We already knew that we were going to draft a tall WR which can actually be had by as late as the fourth round in my opinion. There was discussions of a future TE possibly somewhere later in the draft, so he can learn from Miller and Spaeth.

    We knew our defense especially the secondary and line backing crew had question marks as well as depth concerns.

    I don’t care about Sanders but by possibly letting Cotch go as well as Dwyer (Productive and cheap) we now HAVE TO address WR (possibly twice if cotch goes) and running back as we have Bell and practice squad players.

    I dont understand why we let Dwyer go when all we needed after that, was to perhaps sign LSH or use the kid from Wyoming as the third back if we saw ability. Then you have one or two on the PS for future development. Now we have to do something at RB when it was an option before.

    If Cotchery for some reason leaves, we are in the same boat there also. Instead of ” wanting to get a tall wr ” we have AB and……..while I love Wheaton I think he is the slot in his second year and coming off injury and then? An unproven big? Maybe Moye or J Brown is ready?

    My beloved Steelers might be working on Worilds extension as we speak which would drop our cap number, maybe even Ben which would drop it further?

    Then maybe they are plotting on bringing in someone like Starks (experience and cheap) and another experienced and cheap WR? Please don’t say Austin guys as this man has more hammy problems than Woodley.

    Im excited as our offense started to improve as the season went on but Im nervous about all the holes we have now.

    In Colbert I must trust! Go Black & Gold!

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    I get that Cotch is a whole lot older than Sanders but I would rather have Cotch over Sanders. He makes the tough catches in the red zone and on third down. Sanders is a front runner

  • Milliken Steeler

    Siskel gives Mr Rodriguez two thumbs up!

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    I think Dwyer sees himself as a every down back and he was never going to get that chance in Pit. Arizona only has Ellington left after Mendenhall retired and Ellington is not a every down back but more of a D. Sproils type RB. I think Dwyer probably got around the same offer from Pit but seen Arizona has more of an opportunity

  • sean mcmartin

    Cotchery is a need..he is a clutch catcher along with heath, Sign him now. a veteran presence is also something he brings.

  • Milliken Steeler

    You think so? I would feel better about it if Dwyer left on his own accord. I thought we basically without telling him, gave him the vibe, we didn’t want him back.

  • steelster

    Dwyer was the starter for the steelers and failed.

  • steelster

    Dude, you are long winded, but that is ok because you have a black and gold heart.

  • Milliken Steeler

    LOL! I know Steelster, I have so many thoughts running through my head and I’m just enjoying me some Steeler football right now:)

  • steelster

    It’s all good, everyone on here wants the same thing it’s just that some of us have different outlooks. I love the debates this is a awesome.

  • Brendon Glad

    It’s a tough call….and one that requires a true knowledge of what their market value really is….but since I’m guessing that Sanders is probably going to garner roughly 1.5/3mil–per year more than Cotchery…and with more years to be held on the hook….I’ve always leaned towards Cotchery. As the dollar amounts get closer, my abacus begins and continues to move toward Sanders…and I DON’T even know myself where my personal threshhold is that would sway it to Sanders. But I know this…I think it would be playing a dangerous game of football russian-roulette to lose both.

  • Brendon Glad

    Depends on what Cotchery’s market value is. To me, a not-yet-old veteran WR who walks into camp at #2 (if Sanders leaves)…then HOPEFULLY would move to #3 (If Wheaton progresses well in camp)…but always has shown no problem being #4 as well…is worth 2yrs/2.75-4 mil. If he gets significantly more than that, then we may need to let him walk, and I’d never begrudge either party for it. But he HAS value. I really like him. I hope we work it out. I’ll take my chances on the 2nd string RB.

  • steelster

    steelers are bringing in starks on Monday if he signs before they sign cotch it shows they value him over cotch. I think you always place your value of the number 2 back over the value of a no. 4 receiver.

  • Nathaniel Sullivan

    Idk if im the only one, since im a steelers fan from maryland (fan of the MD terps), that we can possibly sign Heyward-bey? Just a thought if we cant sign back sanders…

  • steelster

    Heyward-bey is a one trick pony, been there done that.

  • Nathaniel Sullivan

    Also true. Wheaton is good, but he has yet to prove himself, we need someone to replace the yards sanders did. Atleast it will give a deception on the offense as long as we dont overpay him.

  • Virdin Barzey

    Folks who don’t want Cotch must not be watching the same games we are. Even Ben wants Cotch back. We need him back and very surprised they have not signed him yet.

    Not to mention we have Wheaton coming into his second year so WR is not a priority. Sign Cotch and move on.

  • alex

    Cotch has been a one year fix for three years, and its hard to replace his veteran leadership…he finally found his place in the offense last year and now he wants some $$$ cause of it…

    but, then the first week of FA is over and have we heard anything about him flying the country for a new suitor?

  • alex

    we need Cotch for one more year to help in the transition to WHeaton who will basically be an experienced rookie along with whom ever we pick early in the draft…

    AND we have so many wholes to fill i dont understand why we dont do some obviously talked about restructuring to get some $$$ to fill these holes…

  • steelster

    yes, they are waiting to sign a backup rb and de first and then seeing if they can still afford cotch.

  • steelster

    restructure who, Timmons that would be not be wise, if we do not we take a big cap hit on him, not good.

  • Brendon Glad

    You are putting a lot of faith in Wheaton and an unknown player as you call Jerricho Cotchery a #4 WR if he re-signs. That would be the “glass-half-full-on-everyone-else” case scenario. Because Cotchery is a nice player. I’m not saying offer him 3/15…I’m saying I hope we get him re-signed. I have no idea what he will bring. I’m thinking 2/4m gets it done…and I’d like that. Because he ain’t #4 until the players on the roster TELL me he’s number 4.

  • steelster

    It’s time for AB to step up and become a leader for the young WR’s. He is now a pro bowl vet with a great attitude and work ethic. His leadership is more important than cotch’s.

  • steelster

    We know what cotch can do. We don’t know what wheaton can do so lets find out what he can and play him as much as we can. He was drafted in the 3rd round for a reason. Play wheaton what do we have to lose, (nothing )and we have a lot more to gain by getting him experience as soon as possible. Ike Taylor had very high praise for wheaton and said he was way ahead of Wallace as a rookie the only difference is Wallace being slightly faster.

  • Brendon Glad

    Im with ya…i was arguing about the #4 part…more than cotchery vs. wheaton. I am hoping like u are, that Wheaton will be better than Cotchery…or equal to with a bullet up…by early season 2014….but that still only accounts for 3. And having 3 high quality WRs is something i think we need.

  • steeler4life

    i say why not pk up Miles Austin younger-big WR- gifted and 1 yr deal may not cost as much as Sanders 1 yr deal.

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