Steelers Say “So Long” to Sanders; Jerricho Cotchery Next?

What a long strange trip it’s been. Departed and would be free agents have given the scribes in Steelers Nation more than their share of story material since 1993.

One year ago he was a restricted free agent and, like Jerroll Williams before him, he got a seemingly artificially high one-year contract. Then followed the conclusion over whether the offer was on the table. When it finally materialized, the Steelers weren’t going to match it, then they did.

Following that Sanders began the season as a starter, something which had been envisioned for him since the Steelers drafted him in third round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

  • Sanders had his best season as a pro. He made a lot of good catches. 

But he was nothing spectacular. The Steelers were not going to commit big money to him and allowed Sanders to test the market. He did that. And then some.

Sanders visited with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He then visited with the Kansas City Chiefs. And then the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He arranged a visit with the San Francisco 49ers.

  • Unbeknownst to Tampa Bay and San Francisco, Sanders had verbally accepted an offer from the Chiefs, which he and his agent Steve Weinberg  used to shop around with other NFL teams.

Word was that Sanders injury history was a sticking point. ESPN’s Scott Brown even suggested a possible return to Pittsburgh. Perhaps that was the case but so was his wheeling and dealing.

Sanders ultimately signed a 3 year 18 million dollar deal with the Denver Broncos.

Sanders Only the Steelers First WR Loss?

News that Sanders had finally signed no sooner broke than did word that Jerricho Cotchery was going to visit the Carolina Panthers.

Jerrhico Cotchery’s return to Pittsburgh had almost been a given. Most expected it to happen before the free agent signing period started. It didn’t. After it started, word was the Steelers had opened talks with the wide out. Still, no deal materialized.

  • Then Dale Lolley pointed out that Cotchery had been on the Steelers sponsored cruise. 

The news reassured some, but Lolly’s logic that Cotchery couldn’t get a contract while on a cruise seemed flawed given the age we live in. The Steelers appear to be bracing for another loss, or at least doing their due diligence, because New Orleans Lance Moore is scheduled to visit the South Side on Tuesday.

Thanks for visiting. Click here for the rest of Steel Curtain Rising or here to see our Steelers 2014 Free Agent Focus.

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