Jerricho Cotchery was a viable wide receiver for the New York Jets. His best season was in 2006 as he played in all 16 games, catching 82 passes for 961 yards and six touchdowns. He then signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011. After serving as the No. 5 option in the passing game, Cotchery exploded in 2013. He led all Steelers with 10 touchdowns and finished with 46 catches for 602 yards.
Now, Cotchery is taking his talents to North Carolina. He and the Carolina Panthers agreed to a two-year deal. Cotchery is currently the only Panthers wide receiver to catch a pass in the NFL since Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell signed elsewhere.
As the de facto No. 1 wide receiver in Carolina, there will be a lot of speculation about his role with the team. No doubt, the Panthers need two more wide receivers to give Cam Newton decent weapons. The question is, will Cotchery, at 31-years-old, be healthy and effective enough to be the Panthers No. 1 receiver all season?
Speaking of Newton, news broke that he suffered an ankle injury late in the 2013 season and it will require surgery. He had the surgery Wednesday and the recovery time is about four months. This will put Newton on the shelf until training camp in July.
While the two can build their chemistry during camp and in preseason games, missing the organized team activities this spring will cause a setback.
Unless Cotchery and Newton have some sort of ESP and can connect immediately, Cotchery becomes virtually undraftable in all leagues. In deeper leagues, he will be a high-end WR4. However, he should be one of the first names off the waiver wire at the beginning of the season.