The Steelers have addressed a lack of experience at WR today with the signing of Jerricho Cotchery to a one-year deal. Cotchery has spent his whole career with the Jets thus far and is a fairly proven commodity. He could easily have 1000 yards receiving if he gets regular time on the offense. Let's answer a few quick questions about the new wearer of Matt Spaeth's old number.
What role will he play?
After Hines Ward, Mike Wallace is the next most experienced receiver on the team with two whole seasons of work in the NFL. Sanders is still recovering from a foot injury and Antonio Brown is still pretty raw. Cotchery will provide a veteran presence to a very young group (Ward excluded) while still being able to produce.
Why did the Jets let him go?
The Jets are well-stocked at WR with the retention of Santonio Holmes and the acquisition of Plaxico Burress. For a young QB in Mark Sanchez who will likely lean on his running game and TEs too much to run a lot of 3-WR sets, Cotchery was no longer necessary.
Why did the Steelers pick him up?
Ben Roethlisberger is significantly better than Mark Sanchez. The Steelers could do well with a 1-RB 1-TE 3-WR set on offense and in that scenario, your starting 3 are Ward, Wallace, and Cotchery. He'll be more useful here than he would have been in New York. I would also guess that Kevin Colbert is getting worried about Ward's health and Cotchery is a nice insurance policy.
First preseason games start tonight. Steelers tomorrow.
Here We Go.