Steelers Free Agent WR Jerricho Cotchery Now Has A Big Decision To Make

On Tuesday, Pittsburgh Steelers unrestricted free agent wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery thankfully left Charlotte without  signing a contract with the Carolina Panthers and now will reportedly decide over the course of the next few days where he will play in 2014.

Being as this will likely be Cotchery’s last contract, it’s good that he’s decided to sleep first before making a final decision. In addition, he’ll have to weigh out the differences in money, playing time and whether or not he’ll have a chance to win a championship wherever he decides to play.

As good as the Panthers were last season, their receiving core is now all gone as of last week. Should Cotchery decide he wants to play in Carolina next season, there’s a good chance he will be surrounded by a lot of very young and inexperienced receivers. Any that might be signed between now an the start of the season, will be third or fourth tier free agents just like he was and all will be playing in their first season in a new offense.

The Steelers are certainly not a lock to win the AFC North in 2014 after having back to back 8-8 seasons, but with roughly 90% of the offense returning, they figure to at least be able to compete once again in the division. Despite everything that went wrong in 2013, they were one wide kick away from making the playoffs.

During his first 10 years in the league, Cotchery has never made it to a Super Bowl. The closest he’s come is two losses in the AFC Championship Game as a member of the New York Jets. Strangely enough, the Steelers were one of the two teams that prevented him from playing in the big game.

While we don’t know how much the Panthers have offered Cotchery, at least he’s taken that offer back to the Steelers. While they might not be able to match it, perhaps they can come close. Cotchery has it good with the Steelers and regardless of who they draft in May, he is certain to get plenty of playing time in 2014. Depending on the progress Markus Wheaton makes during the offseason, there’s even an outside shot he opens the season as the starter.

He has a lot to think about.

  • Brian Miller

    I think this would ease the minds of a lot of Steeler fans if he signs with us, but frankly, I will respect him for whatever decision he makes…he is a class act and I am glad we have had him for the last couple of years.

  • T R

    What’s the chance of Lanear Sampson competing for a roster spot. He didn’t look that bad on tape Love Cotchery but I know he has to do what he thinks best for him. Seems staying in same system would be great for his last contract

  • Paddy

    Well the Carolina QB might not play this season….

  • Steelers12328882

    We can’t overpay for him, but it’d be nice to have him back. We’re definitely going to draft a receiver early, and you have to remain positive that Wheaton will turn into a good #2 or #3. Any idea of what amount Cotchery’s looking for?

  • Douglas Andrews

    While the Steelers side of me say come back… realizing this is his last contract he should go for the money which means he probably leaves for Carolina

  • dkoy85

    What’s the status on Cam? That’s certainly a major factor in a guy like Cotchery’s final decision I’m sure.

  • Nolrog

    Surgery tomorrow, 4 month recovery. Ready by mid-July.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Agreed. I’ve liked Cotch the whole time he’s been here, and he’s done nothing but work hard and be humble about his role and his performance. If he leaves, I’ll miss him as much for his mature presence as his talent. But I will wish him nothing but the best wherever he goes.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I liked Sampson as a late round pick up for us last year so I was stoked to see him on the roster but he is still a project.

  • AzheDraven

    Any chance they would like to bring in DeSean jackson? I know its impossible.
    But, if I were Cotch Id go with Steelers, I mean, he knows Ben and they have chemistry, and while they arent going to give him more money, he has a chance to get to the playoffs, and despite I liked Caroline last season, with everything that has happened to them I really dont think they are going anywhere in January, And he would have to learn a new playbook and build chemistry with a young QB who maybe a little bit immature. Anything that happens I wish him the best,

  • gene mann

    I am not Sure which team offers him the best chance but it money is close he stay with the Steelers

  • Virdin Barzey

    First off, just want to say that its clear that Cotch wants to be in the Burgh. Some doubted but the guy really like the whole operation with the Steelers. He has a tough choice. Last contract so get it now or forget about it. Looks like it will come down to heart versus pockets.

    As much as I love my Steelers and I want him to stay, can’t blame him for leaving

  • rob

    jerricho better go to the panther have some were to play. better not take to long
    be for the panthers say they don’t need him!

  • steeltown

    I like Lanear Sampson and Jasper Collins to compete for the #5 spot with Moye and J.Brown.. or atleast to make the practice squad, Collins went to a small school but his stats are pretty impressive (232rec. over 3,500yds and 37TDs)

  • srdan

    Cam is a tank. That guy does not get injured. He’ll be there week one.

    I read that cams rookie year, he didin’t go to the trainers room once.

  • srdan

    Good for him and his famly

  • srdan

    No thanks. The guy is a headcase. No need for that instability in the locker room. His talents don’t outweigh his negatives.

    Love cotch, but the truth is he is not integral to this team for winning. His role was a small one that he maximized. I am not downplaying 9tds, but I do think that is an anomaly, just like Heath not having one is. Therefore I can understand the FO hesitating to give him as much as some other teams would.

  • srdan

    Keep in mind that money is a part of it, but the other part is snaps. We have all but crowned Wheaton with the #2 slot, and if the vikings game went different, more than likely cotch would be an after thought this year. On top of that, we are all calling for another receiver because there is a need. Where does that leave Cotch on the depth chart? I believe the panthers can offer him the #2 easily, albeit it a run heavy offense.

  • Ahmad

    One thing playing in our favor is that Newton will be shut down for the next few months. So of Cotchery goes to the Panthers he’ll be catching passes from Derek Anderson first and then later have to develop a connection with Newton. Couple that with the fact of him learning a brand new offense and the relative lack of talent that he would be surrounded with and it looks pretty good that he will come back to Pittsburgh. He and Ben already have a strong chemistry, he’s more or less a starter and he’s in a offense that he already knows. Plus he would be surrounded by better talent and to be honest I think the Steelers are closer to a Super Bowl than the Panthers.

  • Douglas Andrews

    He’s got a 10 million dollar cap charge this year and I believe Philly is asking for a 3rd RD Pick for him. He’s a talent on the field but because of that cap charge I highly doubt it. I’d take Kenny Britt over him lower cap charge bigger WR and maybe you can get him on board with the Steelers way of doing of things.

  • AzheDraven

    Isn’t Britt a headache that helped the titans players to get down and not want to play?

  • If I was him, Carolina. He will get much more playing time, especially with a healthy Miller & possibly a high draft pick at wr/TE.

  • Douglas Andrews

    He’s no choir boy but he’d be cheap and probably have something to prove this year. Maybe with Coach Mann and playing on a winning team with leadership will help him walk the straight and narrow.

  • Brian Miller

    Well said…