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March 16, 2014

Former Wolfpack star Cotchery to visit Panthers

Everyone was focused on a homecoming with former UNC standout Hakeem Nicks, but the Panthers are interested in a former N.C. State standout.

Ten-year veteran free agent receiver Jerricho Cotchery will visit Carolina on Monday, a league source confirmed Sunday.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Mark Kaboly was the first to report Cotchery's visit.

Cotchery, the former N.C. State player who turns 32 in June, caught 46 passes for 602 yards and a career-high 10 touchdowns last season.

Kaboly reported Cotchery's free agency was on hold until he returned from a Steelers fan cruise. Pittsburgh has had preliminary talks with Cotchery, who has drawn interest from two other teams, according to Kaboly.

Cotchery was a fourth-round pick of the Jets in 2004. He spent seven years in New York before going to Pittsburgh before the 2011 season.

Cotchery signed a two-year, $3 million deal in 2012 with the Steelers, which lost receiver Emmanuel Sanders to Denver in free agency Saturday.

Cotchery played at N.C.State from 2000-2003 and was a two-time All-ACC player.

The Panthers cut franchise receiving leader Steve Smith, and saw Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon all leave in free agency.

Cotchery has worn No. 89 for nine of his 10 seasons, a jersey number that's now available in Carolina.

--Jonathan Jones and Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on March 16, 2014 at 02:18 PM | Permalink


They better not let him wear #89. And are we not considering Sidney Rice? WTH?

Posted by: EdTheGr8one | Mar 16, 2014 2:45:20 PM


Posted by: b1130 | Mar 16, 2014 2:49:50 PM

talk about a youth movement. glad we're getting rid of all the old guys to bring in these young guns.


I figure legadu naanee is unavailable. i know domenik hixon is....even he didn't want to wait around and see how this plays out.

the worst is going to come when godfrey gets cut, bell signs with someone else and we don't match, and with the 27th pick in the 2014 draft, the new orleans saints select:

brandin cooks

probably coming right after the browns or chargers take beckham.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 16, 2014 3:10:11 PM

Just read that J. Jones said he would love to play for CAR. If we sign him and Cotchery and draft a future #1 WR then our WR core could be better than last years.

Posted by: jason | Mar 16, 2014 3:29:58 PM

i can deal with it and jones as well, but we have to draft a stud wr for the future..life goes on people

Posted by: wtfman | Mar 16, 2014 3:32:07 PM

cothery, jones and a rookie (unless he's sensational) is in no way better than smith, lafell, ginn.

in big part because of chemistry and experience together, but also because none of those guys run block the way smith and lafell do.

it's as if nobody remembers all those big plays last year that those 2 sprung with major blocks down field.

if the rookie is a stud, sure we opened up the room for him to grow into superstar status. but that's putting a lot of faith in a draft pick that we haven't landed yet. and it's using a draft pick on a receiver when we need to use it on O-line.

proehl has his work cut out for him.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 16, 2014 3:42:28 PM

Mr. Richardson needs to step in and not have #89 available for any player to wear this year. That would be the classy thing to do.

Posted by: bill | Mar 16, 2014 3:49:39 PM

Did observer staff see the munnerlyn tweet? Check out bleacher report

Posted by: Billy | Mar 16, 2014 4:23:29 PM

Yeah well lets hear it not any of that kryptic crap. You're not playing here lets hear it.
Somebody get on it , get the scoop.

Posted by: 10-4!! | Mar 16, 2014 5:13:15 PM


Posted by: 10-4!! | Mar 16, 2014 5:15:36 PM

Bwhahahahaha. Bleacher Report is to football what the National Enquirer is to news. If you read the article it is all conjecture. The media's strategy is to trash Gettleman until someone breaks and tells on Steve Smith.

None of you seem to understand that a GM never reveals his strategy on how he plans to fill the roster. I'm not even going to try to help you to understand why. I swear he have the dumbest fan base in the history of sports.

Posted by: deepenwide | Mar 16, 2014 5:40:07 PM

Thats no fing strategy! Are you talkin about yourself. You.honestly think he planned this. He wanted most of these guys here except smitty... And didnt plan on 2 outside of Gross retiring. When u have a good team built people will make concession to come here and to stay.
^look in mirror

Posted by: 10-4!! | Mar 16, 2014 5:48:39 PM

All these that are ok with this are the ones that thought we would go 7-9 8-8 and had No talent.

Posted by: 10-4!! | Mar 16, 2014 5:52:07 PM

When you do not pay players and their egos money everyone says it is an issue. Our money is tied up in RBs and DL which is where it should be so back off fans and let Gettleman do his job. The last thing we should do is pay average players big salaries. Keep going strong Gettleman I think you have the right strategy. Come July our team will be better for hard decisions.

Posted by: Kelso | Mar 16, 2014 8:19:12 PM

Release the Kraken!!!

Posted by: The Kraken | Mar 16, 2014 8:50:53 PM

it's not about paying players. should we give mike mitchell a 5 year deal? probably not. should ginn get a pay raise? maybe. munnerlyn deserved his deal. worth every penny.

it's the collective of all of it that is alarming. you don't cut a steve smith when you don't have his replacement lined up. and you definitely don't want this much turn over from a 12-4 team with a young core.

we could have kept almost all of these guys and added a draft class. look at the cap. we are spending it on guys that gettleman ran off who could have been more useful than the replacements.

he inherited a 7-9 team that was something like 10th in defense and 12th in offense in 2012, losing 7 games on major coaching gaffs like playing prevent defense against chicago, giving up the deep ball to atlanta, rivera botched 4th down decisions almost every single game there. the talent level was VERY high on that team. gettleman takes over and what does he do? exactly what he was supposed to do......address special teams and add some secondary guys and draft DTs. he stuck to the plan.

12-4 with most of the starters being the same from the previous year. 12-4 where 2 of the losses were bad coaching more than anything.

now you blow up 12-4?

we went from having 2 or 3 holes in our starting lineup to having 8-10 overnight. teams with that much turnover don't win.

oh and rivera getting an extension after 1 playoff birth? he's been the problem for 3 years and he's being rewarded for the improvement caused by chudzinski leaving and his luck on 4th downs WHICH HE STILL DOESN'T UNDERSTAND SITUATIONAL PROBABILITY.

even if he lucks up and pulls a receiving corps out of his A, the secondary got weaker. the offensive line got weaker. the special teams got weaker.

we might find some guys to catch some balls, but are we going to improve from smith and lafell's toughness? that was arguably the best blocking duo of WRs.

there's a reason why better GMs snatched those 2 guys up quickly.

you guys are playing fantasy football thinking lafell didn't have value here.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 16, 2014 9:01:54 PM


Posted by: 10-4!! | Mar 16, 2014 9:49:06 PM

Charlottean - how could we have "kept almost all of these guys"? I don't get it. Have you seen the contracts they signed? I would have loved to have kept Mitchell and Ginn but we don't have the money. As far as the other guys.... meh. Steve Smith is my favorite player but he didn't want restructure and it was just time to move on. And I'm not going to lose any sleep over Munnerlyn or Lafell or Hixon. The biggest loss IMO was Gross - who we wanted back but he retired. Tough luck.

Gettleman made the decision to retain Hardy and now we are going to have to work thru it in the short term. He's also got get the books ready to sign our core to big contracts over the next 3 years - Cam, then Luke, then Star.

Posted by: Callwood | Mar 16, 2014 11:55:28 PM

mitchell signed for 5 years at 25 and that's the most expensive. that doesn't mean a 5 million dollar cap figure for this year. it also doesn't mean he's getting 25 million. he probably gets 13 before being cut or restructured. that's typical for nfl.

munnerlyn got 3 years 15 million. same story.

i absolutely agree with you that the biggest loss was gross. but i think it's telling that gettleman couldn't make him an offer to keep playing for 2 more years. he was never saying "this is definitely it" it was "if i play, i'm playing here" which I could be misreading, but sounds to me like "if they offer me something i'll play but if they don't, i'm not going to move to keep playing."

the cap situation is NOWHERE near as bad as gettleman has played it up to be. everytime you sign a guy it reshuffles the deck. the cap figure on THIS YEAR for that players contract is partially negated by one more player falling out of the top 51 salaries. additionally, godfrey is still currently carrying a largely non-guaranteed ridiculous cap figure. olsen is carrying a high cap figure that could be reduced even if just slightly. there would have been more leverage in doing these things with guys under contract instead of with this many holes.

dwan edwards is still under contract and we DO have his replacement lined up. and then of course there's the hardy situation, which I actually think the 13 million tag is more appropriate than a monster deal, but there were a lot of comparable DEs on the market for significantly lower cap hits that could have left the team in a better position to compete for a championship. I could be wrong, but I believe he can still be traded on the tag, but only in lieu of signing a new deal. That should have been explored more as a reasonable option. hardy is a very solid player, but cost effective at 13 million? not hardly.

we did not have to keep them all. swapping harper for mitchell alone would have been appropriate. but we could have kept smith and lafell, let ginn go and spent a 2 on his replacement. we could have kept munnerlyn and kept gross from retiring at age 33 when he could have easily slid over to the right and been SOLID for 2 more years.

there was enough room to retain and add the draft class. we aren't picking top 10, at 28 the scale is favorable.

we have PLENTY of room for cam and luke's contracts. all of the big contracts we currently have age out by then. it's an ongoing cycle. but now the problem is going to be........are they going to want to stay? They've gestured like cam was OK with this, but I find that insanely hard to believe unless he just hated those 3 dudes and loves greg olsen that much. hard to believe. hard to believe he wants to start fresh with all new receivers including a few rookies in a year where he just watched wilson win a superbowl and where we SHOULD have been poised to contend for one in 2014.

and again.....the bigger issue is the timing of everything. letting everybody go at once is scaring off other free agents and giving agents more leverage in the negotiations.

he's paying jon beason and steve smith not to be here and didn't get any real compensation or major savings on moving either.

he started feeling himself after the success of ginn and mitchell and the solid contributions from lester and white. that's not a model for success. that was things going right.

and please.....look at all 32 teams cap situations and get back to me about our "cap hell" situation prior to this mass exodus. we were in an enviable position. now we have room and nobody worth spending it on.

perception matters. if the players lack confidence in management, far more likely they mail it in this year. especially the ones closer to retirement.

it's not an end of the world scenario, it's a "we had a chance to contend and now there's no way we improve this offseason short of a miracle draft"

and you aren't losing sleep right now, but come august? josh norman might remind you munnerlyns value. our running game might look suspiciously bad when we don't have WRs that can block or keep a defense honest. it's a ripple effect. tell me what veterans we're going to bring in to fill those 8-10 holes that are going to be upgrades. and then let's assume 3-4 of the rookies pan out (4 starters would be a ridiculous draft class).

its just not reasonable to expect the guy to recover from this.

and i'm reading conflicting reports about whether smith was asked to restructure or not. his agent says they never asked. observer says he refused a while back. still costs too much to cut him in THIS year.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 17, 2014 10:19:53 AM

Fair enough. I disagree with the level of angst folks are feeling right now but that's just my opinion. I do think it's premature to start worrying about players perception of the organization. The Browns and Raiders continue to sign big FAs despite their ineptitude. Free agent players go where the money is and, in some cases, to join a playoff caliber squad. I think we will be able to offer both moving forward.

Posted by: Callwood | Mar 17, 2014 10:31:25 AM

No wide receivers in the league want to play with a run-first egomaniac that overthrows WR's when he actually passes? SHOCKING!

LaFell's numbers are going to make us sick. He was a pretty good player.

Posted by: tony clifton | Mar 17, 2014 1:23:03 PM

I agree with Polian remarks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqRpvN9Ok-k . All good franchises build through the draft. Now if Silatolu, Kugibila, Klein, Chandler, etc don't step it up this year Gettleman will have some explaining to do. There is not one Panther we have lost that we will miss next year but for Gross.

Posted by: Kelso | Mar 17, 2014 1:32:02 PM

silatolu and chandler were hurney picks.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 17, 2014 4:49:38 PM

I tried to get the Panthers to hire Charlottean as my replacement because of the knowledge he has from playing Madden in Franchise Mode but they just wouldn't budge.

Posted by: Marty Hurney | Mar 18, 2014 11:43:23 AM

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