Nov 17, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Jericho Cotchery (89) runs for a touchdown past Detroit Lions safety Don Carey (32) and cornerback Rashean Mathis (31) during the second half at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won the game, 37-27. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Free Agency: Pittsburgh Steelers Lose Wide Receiver Jerricho Cotchery To Panthers

Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery went from an afterthought in 2011 to a viable option for Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in 2013.

Cotchery pulled in 46 catches on 76 targets last season, accounting for 602 yards and a team-high 10 receiving touchdowns. The 10-year pro ranked behind Pro Bowler Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders on the depth chart, but he was a very useful player at age 31.

However, Cotchery won’t be plying his trade in black and gold next season, as he signed a free-agent contract with the Carolina Panthers on Thursday afternoon.

The news came via a tweet from Everett Levy, social media director for the Goal Line Football agency, which represents Cotchery:

The Panthers have confirmed that Cotchery penned a two-year deal, with financial details not disclosed.

Cotchery joins Sanders, who signed with the Broncos, in departing the Steelers’ corps of receivers. Former Saints pass-catcher Lance Moore visited Pittsburgh earlier this week, giving general manager Kevin Colbert at least one option for replenishing Roethlisberger’s stable of targets.

Related: Free-agent running back Maurice Jones-Drew visits Pittsburgh

Still, there remains a strong possibility the Steelers look to the draft to add at least one more playmaker at the wide receiver position.

Tags: Jerricho Cotchery NFL Free Agency Pittsburgh Steelers

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