Steelers pursuing Cotchery, still may need a veteran receiver

Jared Wickerham

Santonio Holmes' career has gone nowhere but downhill since leaving the Steelers. If there is a bridge left he didn't burn on his way out, perhaps he thinks about crossing it back to the team from which his legacy was started.

Former Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes likely burned his way out of Pittsburgh permanently. Literally.

The decision to trade Holmes in 2010 was met with a fair amount of criticism, but application of appropriate Hindsight Glasses to correct our vision to a 20/20 level shows the move itself was warranted, justified and highly profitable.

Holmes likely can be had on the considerably cheap now, largely in part to injuries with only some due to alleged locker room issues.

It's a sell-high, buy-low league in many ways. The Steelers' release of LaMarr Woodley likely made several scheme-similar teams very happy; it's easy to keep Woodley around if he isn't making much money, relatively speaking. Pittsburgh was likely the only team in the league who was required to pay him $8.5 million to play in 2014. Because of that, he can be considered a bargain basically everywhere else he may go.

Maybe Holmes can fit that kind of a situation. The Jets weren't going to take on his risk with the salary he was making, but he can find a home making a penny or two on each dollar of his previous contract.

The Steelers are looking to make some kind of a deal with veteran Jerricho Cotchery, and considering where their careers are currently aimed, it's not a bad guess to think Cotchery might make more than Holmes does in 2014. Connecting dots no one in particular is trying to connect, perhaps that means Holmes is something of a reclamation project for the receiver-thin Steelers.

There are others around the league outside of the top free agent receivers, and Holmes is connected through the team with photographic evidence of the most dramatic touchdown reception in Super Bowl history. Digging into what's available by way of a potential slot-split end role for a veteran who may lose out on snaps to a younger player, if Cotchery fits that bill, so does Holmes.

Any sort of reunion between the Steelers and Holmes would be particularly newsworthy, even if it wouldn't increase the quality of the position or the team. Holmes is more likely to find a one-year Prove It deal with a team rich in cap space, but it's unwise to "say never."

Holmes may have done exact that in 2010, burning every surface he touched behind him on his way out of town. But it wouldn't make a terrible consideration for the right price.

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