« Roman Harper: 'Mind-blowing' that Steve Smith is gone | Main | Panthers interested in CB Antoine Cason »

March 18, 2014

Cotchery will choose between Panthers and Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers free agent wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery wrapped up his visit with the Panthers on Tuesday and left without a contract, a league source said.

Cotchery, 31, a 10-year veteran who played at N.C. State, will choose between the Panthers and Steelers, the source said. A decision could come as soon as tonight or tomorrow.

Cotchery, who caught a career-high 10 touchdown passes in 2013, had dinner with Panthers coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Mike Shula on Monday night. He was at Bank of America Stadium on Tuesday for interviews with other coaches and team officials.

The Panthers are looking to restock virtually their entire receiving corps after cutting Steve Smith and losing Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon in free agency.

The Steelers also have been hit hard at the wideout position the past two offseasons. Mike Wallace left for the Dolphins last year and Emmanuel Sanders signed with Denver this week.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on March 18, 2014 at 04:25 PM | Permalink


Congrats on signing with the Steelers!

Posted by: Bro Jackson | Mar 18, 2014 4:30:27 PM

WOW, why am I not surprised! Cam is having surgery and we cant figure out how to secure a wideout to play on the team Gettlebum dismantled. No vet wants to play with this disrespectful bum. This is becoming comical.

Posted by: james | Mar 18, 2014 4:32:56 PM

Gettleman is going to low ball every WR on a contract until there is no one left and then he will draft Offensive Line in the first two rounds of the draft...mark my words!

Posted by: Matt | Mar 18, 2014 4:38:53 PM

Let's just overpay and continue in mediocrity. You naysayers have no clue.

Posted by: bigstuff | Mar 18, 2014 4:43:14 PM

Bigstuff......we have no WR, none. Why are all the other teams paying these guys, but not us? Who do you expect to field as our WR core next year?

I have been a supporter of Gettleman, even after releasing Smith. However, as the days go by and we are sitting here wondering if we will sign Cotchery (OMG please)I find myself beginning to freak out. I don't want to overpay for mediocrity, but we do need some guys that have played before in this league

Posted by: Matt | Mar 18, 2014 4:47:02 PM

bigstuff, there is no overpay. this move with Steve Smith is a black eye on the organization that everyone is second guessing before signing a contract with the Panthers. as a Dolphins fan the same thing happened with Jeff Ireland too. Gettleman has torpedoed his career.

Posted by: Joe John Johnson | Mar 18, 2014 4:58:24 PM

we still have 3 rb's?

why did we not cut stewart and keep smith??

Posted by: tony clifton | Mar 18, 2014 5:03:08 PM

nobody is asking anybody to overpay. but you can't bargain shop EVERY spot on the roster. you get a few steals, and a few at market price.

as it stands, we have at least 8 starting spots we have to fill. can't do that in the draft, and you can't do that bargain shopping.

you could say smith was overpaid all you want to (he was underpaid at the front of his contract - that's how nfl contracts work) but there's no justification for cutting him and not having a backup plan.

byron bell still hasn't signed yet, either. and godfrey still hasn't been restructured.

for all those worried about overpaying a guy....we're going to end up overpaying a bunch of guys with minimum contracts who don't deserve even that much.

this dude needs a HELLUVA draft. I hope he's spending all of his time scouting and that's why he's flopping so bad in FA negotiations.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 18, 2014 5:05:36 PM

If he left, he's not signing Whos trying to close these deals?
Need to take some classes

Posted by: 10-4!! | Mar 18, 2014 5:07:18 PM

Can anyone tell me the last time a team that "won" in free agency went on to be a major force during the regular season?

Because I read these comments, and it's as if many of you think championships are won and lost in March.

Right now, because of many of the contracts handed out under Hurney, and because Gettleman kept the Panthers biggest free agent (please tell me you haven't forgot he doled out $13 million to Hardy), they DO have to bargain shop. Sucks, but that's the way it is. And it's the way it was last year, when everyone said the secondary was too weak to compete. I think Peter King over on SI predicted a 4-12 season in 2013...

Anyhow, for your own sanity folks, give it a rest... A little early for the sky to be falling.

Posted by: swizzlesticks | Mar 18, 2014 5:09:47 PM

Mabe if Gettleman schedules each veteran receiver left for a visit through out the week, get them extremely drunk, then trick them into signing a contract by telling them its an autograph for a fan, we will have a veteran wideout. IDK just a thought.

Posted by: james | Mar 18, 2014 5:12:27 PM

This is really sad for all the Carolina Panther fans... Really sad!! Why haven't they pulled the trigger on any receivers is flat out "crazy". This will be a season to remember or forget......

Posted by: TOP SGT | Mar 18, 2014 5:12:59 PM

you don't get it. we didn't need to "win" free agency. we needed to keep our 12-4 team in tact.

we needed to fill a few holes. upgrade a few positions. we didn't need to go sign revis and vick and decker and albert. nobody is saying that.

we can't fill 8-10 starting positions in the draft and by bargain hunting and expect to go 12-4 or expect to be improved. we could have kept the guys we had (most), and added a draft class, and improved PLENTY that way and been prime to contend for a superbowl.

nobody is panicking over individual moves. it's the cumulative of them all. it's 8-10 starting positions up in the air.

teams don't win by "winning" free agency. teams also don't win by breaking up 12-4 teams.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 18, 2014 5:13:40 PM

Lol win free agency.... We don't have players! Not just starting positions but depth that we will have to have.

Posted by: 10-4!! | Mar 18, 2014 5:16:42 PM

Sorry charlottean
I mean for sht sake i thought Manningham for sure.

Posted by: 10-4!! | Mar 18, 2014 5:18:51 PM

Smith was getting old and only had spurts of productivity. Everyone is looking at him as if he is still in his prime. He is no longer a #1 receiver and doesn't deserve to be paid as one.

Sentimentality does not win football games and neither does keeping a team intact (that's the silliest comment I read). If that's all it takes, the same team would win the Superbowl year after year by keeping the same guys. Players age and skills diminish. Keeping the same players doesn't guarantee the same results.

Besides Ginn, who is only modestly talented as a receiver, I applaud Gettleman's moves. Brandon Lafell can't catch a cold half the time so no loss there. If the best we can do at receiver is an old Steve Smith and a worthless Lafell, we would never have won a Super Bowl.

Some of us hope for a better season than getting blown out at home in a NFC championship game, largely because our receiving corp was basically an aged Steve Smith.

Keep up the good work, Gettleman. The nay-sayers can go pull for Baltimore (they've got Steve Smith now so they're obviously going to win our Super Bowl.)

Posted by: Chris | Mar 18, 2014 5:31:04 PM

last year cotchery would have been fighting with ginn and hixon for the #3 and 4 spot. if he signed here, he'd be the #1, barring a good draft pick dropping him to #2.

i'd also like to note that bruce campbell is out there still.....and bill polian has him rated extremely high for a guy that hasn't done much and has had some injuries. and he isn't the only guy rating him that high. very curious situation there.

gotta get SOMEBODY. unless we're banking on nate chandler, gary williams, and chris scott to start 16 games productively.

I can at least SEE josh thomas and melvin white starting at corner and josh norman getting a look in passing situations (dude CANNOT tackle). still a major downgrade and a major lack of depth there even with dockery back.

but we have to get SOMEBODY to fill these holes. if this guy misses on ANY draft picks, it's going to hurt more than normal.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 18, 2014 5:32:09 PM

We didn't do 12-4 last year because of our recievers or secondary. I'm sure once the season starts it will all make sense.#2 defense in the NFL.

Posted by: bigstuff | Mar 18, 2014 5:33:28 PM

Apparently, some of you "football fans" have never heard of the salary cap.

Posted by: Chris | Mar 18, 2014 5:35:08 PM

I say we don't sign any WR free agents till after the draft unless it is one year minimum salary. There are many WR available who have started for other teams. They are all the same so don't sign anybody out of panic. I agree that these comments are crazy. I wonder if Green Bay Packer fans make all these crazy comments when they barely use free agency.

Posted by: Kelso | Mar 18, 2014 5:35:11 PM

Cotchery would have been fighting for the #3 receiving spot? You can't be serious. Do you really feel that Brandon Lafell would start over Cotchery on any team? First rule of receiving, if the ball hits you in the hand, you catch it. Lafell missed that part of receiving 101. Guy had hands like bricks. Also, at this point, Steve Smith would only be considered the #1 spot on a team with no other options...like the 2013 Panthers. Glad to see Gettlemen trying to change this equation.

Posted by: Chris | Mar 18, 2014 5:40:02 PM

I think cotchery will sign with you guys. I think he can get more from the panthers than the steelers. I'm a steeler fan and I'll be sad to see him go but I'd like to see him succeed in an expanded role, that he would receive with the panthers not having any receivers.

Posted by: Ryan | Mar 18, 2014 5:40:12 PM

I would take the 2014 Jerricho Cotchery over the 2014 Steve Smith any day of the week.

Posted by: Chris | Mar 18, 2014 5:41:21 PM

Im out good luck.Charlottean fighting losing battle. Most these probably dont watch the games, probably mowing their grass in 2 and 3rd quarter or tooo sht faced after 1st quarter to know.

Posted by: 10-4!! | Mar 18, 2014 5:41:34 PM

RYAN thanks!

Posted by: 10-4!! | Mar 18, 2014 5:43:56 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.