Pittsburgh Steelers Free Agency: Steelers Reportedly Re-Sign Jerricho Cotchery

Field Yates@FieldYatesCorrespondent IIIApril 11, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 8:   Jerricho Cotchery #89 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the game on December 8, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have re-signed free-agent wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery to a two-year contract, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News

Cotchery joined the Steelers before the 2011 season after spending the previous seven years with the New York Jets—the team that drafted him 108th overall in 2004.

He caught 16 passes for 237 yards and two scores in 13 games last season, serving in a reserve receiver role behind the Steelers' talented tandem of Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown.

With veteran Hines Ward retiring, Cotchery figures to take on a more prominent role under new offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who was hired this offseason after Bruce Arians "retired." (He took a job with the Colts just days after leaving the Steelers.)

Cotchery's best seasons were in 2006 and 2007, when he hauled in 164 catches for 2,091 yards, including a career-high 1,130 yards in 2007.  

He's widely-considered a dependable, steady receiver who has return ability and is a terrific locker room presence.  With Ward no longer in the fold, Cotchery may assume a leadership role amongst the Steelers' receiver group.  

Pittsburgh is also facing the possibility of a holdout from Wallace, who was tendered as a restricted free agent this offseason. He has yet to sign the one-year deal that would pay him a far more modest salary than he is seeking. 

For now, luring Cotchery back—despite interest from Kansas City, St. Louis and the New York Jets—is an important move for a franchise that has been quiet thus far during free agency.