The Carolina Panthers finally added a target for Cam Newton to throw to Thursday, adding veteran wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery on Thursday. Prior to the signing, the top receivers on the Panthers roster were Marvin McNutt and Tavarres King, neither of whom has caught an NFL pass. They've lost Steve Smith, Ted Ginn Jr., Brandon LaFell, and Domenik Hixon since the end of the season.
Cotchery spent the 2013 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers and was one of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's favorite red zone targets, leading the team with 10 touchdowns. He finished the season with 46 catches for 602 yards.
Well, it's hard to get excited about Cotchery. He'll be 32 years old when the 2014 season starts. He hasn't exceeded 60 catches in any of the past six seasons. He's only exceeded 1,000 yards once in his career, and that was 7 years ago. With that said, SOMEONE has to catch the ball in Carolina. Unless the Panthers make a play for Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson, Cotchery could open the season as the number one receiver on the depth chart.
If he's the number one receiver for the Panthers, expect Cotchery to put up numbers worthy of being a WR3/Flex play on a weekly basis. However, the player on Carolina that probably starts to climb his position rankings is tight end Greg Olsen . The depletion of their receiving corps and the non-signing of any other big threats probably makes him a top 5-10 option at the position next season, based solely on the amount of volume he's likely to see.