Journey of Jerricho Cotchery

Plenty of questions have been brewing around what the Carolina Panthers were/are going to do at wide receiver. Letting the likes of Steve Smith, Brandon Lafell, Ted Ginn, and Domenik Hixson leave for other teams. Those 4 were the top 4 receivers for Cam Newton last year. So who is Cam going to target this year out wide? Signing Tiquan Underwood and Jason Avant is a good start, and first round pick Kelvin Benjamin is expected to evolve as the go-to-guy.

Let me introduce you to Jerricho Cotchery. A home grown product, he played his college ball with all-pro quarterback Philip Rivers at North Carolina State. Drafted in 2004, as a 4th round pick by the Jets, Cotchery didn’t see much action until 2006. After injuries and discipline problems in the Jets receiving core, Cotchery emerged as the 2nd target to Chad Pennington. With 82 catches in the 06’ and 07’ season, his stock was rising. Change of quarterbacks and injuries led to a decline in production and thus leading to his release in 2011.

Cotchery signed with the Steelers in 2011 and spent most of his time on the bottom of the depth chart. After just 33 combined catches in his first 2 years, Cotchery had an excellent 2013 campaign. As the 3rd receiver for the Steelers, Cotchery had 46 receptions. The “excellent” part of this season is the touchdowns. Cotchery had more touchdown receptions than Desean Jackson, Antonio Brown, Josh Gordon, Anquan Boldin, Alshon Jeffery, and Vincent Jackson. Gordon and Brown were named to all-pro 1st and 2nd teams respectively. 10 touchdowns on 46 receptions are efficient. The 2nd lowest amount of receptions amongst the group mentioned is 78 by Vincent Jackson. I think I can speak for Panther fans everywhere when I say, welcome home Jerricho.

By: James Woodham

James is an aspiring sports writer and journalism major at UNCC. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dylan_Woodham or check out his NBA focused blog at