In a brief interview at TEST Sports Clubs in Martinsville, NJ, Steelers Wide Receiver Jerricho Cotchery talked about his desire to return to the Steelers long term. He is spending the off season working out along with other NFL players at TEST, in preparation for free agency and off season training programs.
“In exit meetings (with the Steelers), it was pretty much stated that they were very pleased with me, who I was on the field and off the field,” Cotchery said today at TEST Sports Clubs in Martinsville, which has newly partnered with Parisi Speed School. “I’m everything that they thought I would be, so from their standpoint, they definitely would want me back. And I expressed the same desire, so we’ll see what happens.”
Finding a way to bring back the former New York Jets standout would be an ideal situation for the Steelers. Cotchery has been in the league 8 years now and still feels he can contribute for another 4-5 years yet. Given the Steelers current salary cap situation and the fact that GM Kevin Colbert said today that he didn’t anticipate any free agents being signed by the March 13th deadline, it looks like Jerricho will enter the free agent market once again. That doesn’t mean the Steelers won’t try and bring him back, many things can change between now and then, and even after free agency starts. If he and the Steelers feel they can work out a deal, Jerricho can of course be signed at any time so he could test the market but hold out until the Steelers have their cap situation in hand.
It’s a risky business for Cotchery and every other free agent out there. This will probably be his last deal so he’s going to watch a decent sized payday but Omar Khan & the Steelers could conceivably work something out for say maybe $2 million per year. That would be half of what Hines Ward would take according to speculation about his contract status. If the team can manage to keep Cotchery they can be set at the receiver position with the 3 young talents already on the roster and a veteran in Jerricho who can still pull his own weight for significant amounts of time should he be called upon.
He realizes he would likely be 4th on the depth chart but new Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley likes veteran players like Cotchery. Team guys, good character, and willing to help mentor younger players, so there certainly would be packages for him to fit into the offense. Still though he’s said that he’ll have an open mind about free agency. You basically have to in this day and age because nothing is a guarantee.
Cotchery and his wife, Mercedes, still keep a home in New Jersey, where they are busy with 4-year-old daughter Jacey and 1-year-old sons Joshua and Nicholas.