The imminent release of Hines Ward should make re-signing Jerricho Cotchery one of the Steelers’ top priorities when it comes to their own free agents.
And Cotchery, who provides depth and experience at wide receiver, would love nothing more than to end his career with the Steelers.
“Jerricho would very much like to be back,” said Jack Scharf, who represents Cotchery.
Cotchery told the Newark Star-Ledger as much last month, and Scharf said he had “productive talks” with the Steelers at the NFL Scouting Combine.
That doesn’t mean it is a given Cotchery will be back even though there is mutual interest between the eighth-year veteran and the Steelers.
Cotchery should have an increased role in the Steelers’ offense if he returns, but he will only be a No. 4 wide receiver. Yes, I am assuming Mike Wallace is with the team in 2012, even though the Steelers won’t protect him with the franchise tag, and that Emmanuel Sanders stays healthy.
Cotchery, an unrestricted free agent, could draw interest from other teams that can offer him a bigger role. Also, Cotchery, who turns 30 in June, is seeking a multi-year deal with the hopes that his next NFL contract is also his last one.
The Steelers have to decide how much of a commitment they are willing to make to Cotchery. Given their need for depth and experience at wide receiver and Cotchery’s desire to stay in Pittsburgh, it seems reasonable to assume that the two sides will work something out.