Steelers Can’t Overpay Free Agent WR Jerricho Cotchery Just To Keep Him

You can’t blame veteran Pittsburgh Steelers unrestricted free agent wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery for wanting to take a visit or two this offseason as he’s certainly earned the opportunity to do so after the season he had in 2013.

Cotchery, who will reportedly visit with the Carolina Panthers on Monday, is well aware of the deal that the soon-to-be 35-year-old Steve Smith signed this week with the Baltimore Ravens and this will likely be his last chance to cash in as well. Cotchery, by the way, won’t turn 32 until June.

As much as all of us don’t want Cotchery to leave Pittsburgh, the Steelers can’t overpay him to stay. Smith received a three-year, $11 million contract with $4.5 million guaranteed from the Ravens and in my opinion, that’s too much to give to Cotchery, as a good chunk of the $3.5 million signing bonus would likely be dead money by as soon as next season. In addition, Cotchery’s 2014 cap charge on a deal like the one Smith recently received would be nearly 2.16667 million.

The Panthers are all about out of wide receivers after cutting Smith and losing Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon so far in free agency. They need bodies and Cotchery,  who played his college football at North Carolina State, would be a decent one that could help groom their young receiving core.

The Panthers currently have almost $8 million in cap space as of Sunday morning, so if Cotchery’s visit goes well, there’s a good chance they offer him a deal of some kind. At that point, the Steelers will likely be given an opportunity to match it unless the wide receiver has more visits scheduled. Hopefully it’s a modest deal similiar to the one he signed with the Steelers a few years ago.

  • CW

    The only good thing is that James Jones also seems to be on the Panthers’ radar and he is younger and maybe a better “get” in free agency to replace the Panthers wide receiver losses.

  • Melly

    IMO anything over 1.8 million is too much. He had a nice season last year. I highly doubt that he scores 10TDs again(3-5 would be realistic)! Personally, I would roll the dice w/ Britt if he was around or under the 1.5-1.8 range!!

  • Melly

    I know Britt is a nut. But he should come cheap and incentives could also be built in? The guy brings the height that every1 is clamoring for too. They have to roll the dice here n there. If Cotch leaves there is not much out there…Holmes, an injured D.Alexander, L.Moore, Meachem, DHB, L.Murphy?????????????????????????????

  • Jerome72

    If they lose him they better have a replacement in mind! I don’t have a lot of confidence with the WR’s left on the roster! Should be interesting what happens!!

  • gene mann

    we see Holmes back before Britt

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Maybe if you can get him to sign something with no guarantees and lots of special Britt rules in there. Like if he so much as spits on the ground, or farts, he’s out and doesn’t get paid! Of course, you put some incentives that are team based or 1st down and TD based so he can make a few bucks if he stays in line.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Dude! What kinda shit were you smokin’ when you decided upon that delightful picture.

  • stairman

    the steelers should give him 2 years of security, for a reasonable pay. He has been waiting t show his talents, and has Alot to offer on the field and in the locker room. He likes playing in pittsburg. I highly dubt he is demanding top dollar, probably just a little respect.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Cotchery only has about 2 years left in him…he would be a fool not to go where the money is. The Steelers have let too many of our own guys get away and my feeling are that Cotchery is as good as gone because we refuse to pay for anybody. The philosophy has back fired this year due to the increase in the salary cap. We should have been more aggressive in signing our own players.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Cotchery is NOT a make or break signing for this team. Maybe it changes the offseason a little bit, but the only advantage to him over someone else is his chemistry with Ben. CW below mentions James Jones…honestly, I would rather have him. Give me him AND Starks.

  • Virdin Barzey

    Anybody who has followed Cotch since he got to the Steelers, he has been the ultimate professional. He loves it in the Burgh, loves the organization and has produced for us. He has made it abundantly clear, he wants to stay a Steeler long before free agency. Ben made it clear, that he wants Cotch back. Many of the fans want him back not because of his name but he is producing. Cotch is not a money grabbing guy like some of our past receivers so why isn’t he already signed? This one is disturbing. Not sure who’s the hold up but not good if he’s visiting other teams. This one is a no-brainer for both sides.

  • 20Stoney

    It’s probably his last shot at making good money. Unfortunately I don’t think liking Pittsburgh is going to factor greatly into things. It’s gonna be about the money. I’m not happy about it but I’m betting he’s gone.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Having only 1 WR thats has any kind of continuity with Ben is a big mistake. Although Cotchery him self isn’t a big lose but losing him and Sanders makes Cotchery much more valuable.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I have heard many guys say they want to stay and how much they love Pittsburgh to leave…do not be fooled by this.

  • greeny

    We have no flexibility with free agents now until Worilds contract is worked out. There has been no reporting with regards to his contract. The FO really needs to finalize a deal for Worilds to free up money. Also BB is probably going to play hardball with his contract so this does not help either.

  • 20Stoney

    Agree. He also liked playing for the Jets and was popular there too.

  • sean mcmartin

    yeah no problem letting cotch go, he only lead the team with 10TD’s and was described as a younger hines ward when he was signed. he should be a high priority, as good as ben is, he can’t catch the ball .

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I know some will disagree and that’s fine. But I would give Santonio another chance. Under the right conditions/contract.

    No matter what happened off the field, Holmes and Ben always had good chemistry on the field. He is still a great #3 WR.

    Santonio has not any suspensions since we suspended him. He may have learned his lessons like Plaxico Burress. I think it’s worth considering


    Like who?

  • Paddy

    if PGH wanted Sanders or Cotchery they would be signed by now. Teams make cap room to sign he players they really need. Please get over a dime a dozen wideout

  • Jollyrob68

    Sign Miles Austin

  • Shannon Stephenson

    The question would be who didn’t. It is a common tool used by players/agents to let the fans think that they want to stay and get the fans on their side so that the franchise will give them the money they feel they are worth. Where have you been?

  • falconsaftey43

    If you view him as a dime a dozen WR that’s fine. The problem is there is only a total of 10 catches combined with the WRs behind AB, and WR is one of the more difficult positions to transition from college. They need to bring in some sort of FA WR that can at least be a #3 or slot guy.
    The truth is this team is scarily lacking depth at almost every position.

  • AndyR34

    Just say NO to Britt!! He’s a cancer and a head case. If you didn’t like Sander’s attitude…you will freak out over Britt! I would rather go with a 7th round rookie!

  • treeher

    He’s gone

  • joed32

    Who is BB?

  • Matt Manzo

    Big Ben

  • joed32

    How did I miss that?


    I was just curious to hear an example.

  • Melly

    no way. incredibly slooooooooooooooooooooooooooow!

  • Shawn S.

    No lie. No more posts for you, I don’t care how on point they are.

  • Jerome72

    Kiss my grits!!

  • grw1960

    Maybe I am crazy, but I say sign him if possible. 2 or 3 years 7 – 10 mil.
    ….He proved he was worth it last year and brings veteran leadership in the WR group. Which they will need to help the new WR they will draft in the early rounds.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    We need to keep Cotch. Can’t afford to double-dip at WR in the draft, and besides, why would the Steelers want to set this offense back when it really has the potential to get going? Even if Cotch is a transition piece, he’s a valuable and productive transition piece. He’s not just a luxury when we just let one of our starters walk in FA.

  • Paul Barracliffe

    yeah and another is that carolina has room for 4 WR

  • Jeff Anoble

    It couldn’t hurt having Santonio Holmes back with Ben at a low offer if Cotch signs for more then we can afford. I still say if Holmes was on that roster the year we played GB in the Super Bowl We would have taken it. Holmes comes back humbled but still “Daring to be Great”. After you get a week of him on Steeler Dynasty week this upcoming week you will want to re-live the glory days with him again. Still averaged nearly 20 yards a catch last year with a rookie throwing to him.

  • Ritchie Rich

    Look all I’m gonna say is “kick rocks” Cotchery!!!! Cause obiously if your visiting other teams you don’t want to be here. So Wheaton better step uo, or our beloved Steelers are through!!!

  • CW

    True, however the Panthers also might be in worse shape as far as their own free agents needing to resigned than the Steelers are. About half their offensive line is either retiring or free agents. They have massive holes at cornerback and safety with multiple defensive backs leaving and still others needing new contracts.

    If they have to spend more than what the Steelers can reasonably afford on a Cotchery, they pretty much eliminate themselves from holding onto maybe two or three other in team free agents.

    Amazing how we practically have to bank on a team being in a worse situation to hold onto a guy this year.

  • Melly

    I highly doubt they would bring him back. IMO if the price is right…do it!

  • CW

    On the positive side at least Moye and Wheaton were both practicing offseason for a while with Big Ben, so if we lose Cotchery, maybe they will develop the necessary chemistry to be effective as part of the receiving corps.

  • Steelers12328882

    Let him go. I have a feeling we’ll be the same 8-8 team anyways, so let the young guys play.

  • Steve

    Miles Austin would be a Great pickup. He is slow but steady and can catch over the middle.

  • steelster

    Just sign Sidney Rice to a one year deal.

  • steelster

    I think fans are forgetting that heath miller wasn’t healthy last year and only caught 1 td pass, he should be 100 percent in 2014 and catch 6-7 tds thus reducing the amount cotch will catch. Also, i think bell will be used even more in the receiving game next year and could catch 2-3 tds himself to go along with 40-50 receptions. Only bring back cotch on the very cheap.

  • Melly

    Lance Moore scheduled for a visit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Melly

    he can’t stay healthy(11 games missed the past 3yrs). would be a waste of money!

  • Matt Manzo

    It took me a few seconds!

  • Aharon Moyer

    Father time is undefeated and now is the time to show that to grand daddy Cotchery. Double down on WR in the draft or even triple down. Why not? Yolo.

  • Tom

    On the plus side, the Panthers are not exactly swimming in free cap space either.

  • Danny Delouize

    i would bring Holmes back…

  • Danny Delouize

    Jones to inconsistent for the cost..

  • Danny Delouize

    read they are bringing in lance moore..there are better options than that

  • Danny Delouize

    i healthy Britt would be well worth it…

  • Danny Delouize

    Just glad Sanders is gone…

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    SO , what do ya call that nearly 3 million they gave Ike Taylor , if that is not over paying, there is no such thing. Based on ability alone, he should not have been brought back, must be nice to be Rooney’s gin partner.

  • vinnie12

    Hey GUYS! We still have another old timer wide out left!

  • vinnie12

    Lance Moore just signed by the Steelers!

  • joed32

    BR would have registered easier.

  • Eric Robinson

    I like most here want Cotchery back, but only for the right price. Its time for Wheaton and Moye to step up. I think with a whole camp under his belt Wheaton will excel this year. I liked what i saw of him in limited action last year. If we get a WR early in the draft. We will be ok. I like Starks coming in. Im not worried about offense. Defense is Steelers football. We need to get back to being hard hitting and intimidating. We are going in the right direction. I cant wait for the draft so we can see everything start to come together.

  • shawn

    I like him !