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Panthers sign WR Jerricho Cotchery

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Jerricho Cotchery agreed to terms with the Panthers Thursday.
Jerricho Cotchery agreed to terms with the Panthers Thursday. (USATSI)

More NFL offseason: Mock Drafts | Prospect Rankings | Pro Days | Top free agents

It took a while but the Panthers have signed a wide receiver in free agency, as Carolina inked former Steelers wideout Jerricho Cotchery according to his agent.

Cotchery was a standout performer at N.C. State (playing with Philip Rivers he broke multiple records held by Torry Holt) and was drafted in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Jets.

He's recorded a single 1,000-yard season -- with the Jets in 2007 -- and has averaged seven starts a season and 556 yards per season for his career. Cotchery was the 21st ranked free-agent wideout in our rankings.

Cotchery is far from a true "No. 1 receiver" at this stage of his career, but he brings something to the table that Carolina sorely lacks: experience.

At age 31, Cotchery has more catches in every single one of his 10 NFL seasons than every other wideout currently on the Panthers roster has for their combined careers.

What this means for the 2014 season is that Cam Newton will have a reliable pass-catching target and the Panthers will have an opportunity to nab a speedy complement in one of the first few rounds of the draft.

Dave Gettleman's plan with Carolina's wide receivers has looked questionable at best and the issues are far from solved, but this is a good first step in getting some sort of depth chart experience organized. Cotchery, who wore No. 89 for Pittsburgh last season won't be going anywhere near that number in Carolina.

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