It's no surprise to anyone around the NFL that the Steelers look like a solid roster once again. While most teams in the league have large glaring holes in their roster, Pittsburgh has a relatively deep group of players that allows them to mask some of their minor flaws.
Still, like all teams, the Steelers aren't perfect, and they can always use a little extra help here or there. That's why Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports thinks the Steelers may use wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery as trade ammunition to help patch some of the team's less-than-finer aspects.
The thought process here is sound. The Steelers are one of the rare teams that has an excess of decent wide receivers. Most other teams in the league are making due with mediocre talent, instead relying solely on their quarterback’s ability to put receivers in position to make plays.
The Steelers have been proficient in recent years in the area of developing young receivers into top-notch play makers. Mike Wallace left the team as a star, but he was little more than a sprinter when he joined Pittsburgh.
This time around, it’s young receivers such as Markus Wheaton and Justin Brown that are impressing the Steelers. In addition to their solid play, more obscure guys like J.D. Woods and Reggie Dunn are turning a few heads around camp. If their solid play continues, Cotchery becomes an expendable player.
Although Cotchery isn’t a huge burden on the Steelers’ salary cap, he’s more valuable now than he likely ever will be again. The Steelers are in the minority of teams that can afford to part ways with a serviceable pass catcher, and the market should be hot.
To drive that point home, consider the veterans that have been signed recently by teams that were top-tier teams a season ago. The Ravens have brought in Brandon Stokley and Dallas Clark, both of which are long past their primes. The 49ers have turned to Austin Collie, a player few expect to last the duration of the season. The New England Patriots currently employ a laundry list of no-name receivers plus Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman.
The common denominator here seems to be a lack of receivers. While Cotchery won’t be making huge plays left and right, he will add a legitimate receiver to a team willing to pay for it. Cotchery is a seasoned pro at the end of his career, and he’s just looking to stay in the game a little bit longer. The Steelers’ young receivers appear, by all accounts, to be showing serious promise, meaning Cotchery is an expendable commodity. That being the case, don’t be surprised to see the Steelers ship Cotchery out of town in the coming weeks for younger talent or simply a draft pick or two.