Cotchery latches on in Steel Town and Cardinals look around
Columnist: Pat N.
Jerricho Cotchery has improbably signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and apparently the team didn’t face much competition for his services. That seems like a huge oversight or downright stupidity from a handful of teams. I’m quite confident that Cotchery would have been an upgrade in Jacksonville, Arizona, Carolina, Cleveland, Minnesota, Washington, Oakland, Houston, Tennessee, Miami, and possibly Tampa (if Arrelious Benn isn’t healthy). But for some strange reason, none of those teams came calling. I think many will regret that. There are not a lot of tougher receivers than Cotchery. He makes catches in traffic and doesn’t mind safeties bearing down on him. That’s a rare breed of wideout these days in the NFL. And the Steelers probably snagged him at a bargain price.
I see Cotchery possibly even taking over some of Hines Ward’s work this year. Hines can’t last forever, as he’s just hit age 35. While, I’m not saying Hines will disappear, I do believe that Cotchery will be open more in sets where they are both on the field. He’s got a better ability to separate at this point. Hines will still be good for the tough catches in traffic and the red zone formations, but his days as big-play maker are probably over. He’s a chain-mover and one of the better ones. That, and a sh*t talker.
I don’t think Cotchery would have signed in Pitt. if he wasn’t promised a shot at significant reps. He should get them and plenty of attention from Big Ben when they go 4-wide. Cotchery may phase out the fantasy prospects of Heath Miller in the process.
According to reports from XTRA 910 Phoenix, the Cardinals are taking a look at Lee Evans be their new number #2 next to Larry Fitz. Right now they’re penciled in to have Early Doucet or Andre Roberts probably play that role, and they can’t be all too comfortable with the idea. Even Kurt Warner came out and recently said that they need to a deep threat to open things up for Fitz and the rest of the O.
Lee Evans may be the ideal guy for that role. He’s always been able to separate deep, he’s just played on too bad of team to allow for anyone to get him the ball (aside from JP Losman and his weekly deep-heaves). Plenty of single-coverage would also be a sight to behold for Lee. He’d fill the role of the Desean Jackson/Jeremy Maclin-type receiver that Kevin Kolb has gotten used to playing with. He would bring the threat of the big play and add a dimension of speed to the offense. That is a dimension they’ve lacked since Steve Breaston broke out, and before he ran into a laundry list of leg injuries.
The free agent crop is almost completely dried up at WR. Evans is looking like the best available option at this point and who knows how valuable he could be indoors and in a possibly pass-happy offense. Bills GM Buddy Nix is even saying Lee could be available, so it appears Evans may finally be on his way out of the cold. The right deal would make sense for both teams at the right price.