Jerricho Cotchery has said that he "won't touch" the jersey number 89 in Carolina because he has too much respect for departed receiver and Panthers legend Steve Smith.
WR Jerricho Cotchery says he will not be wearing Steve Smith's old number, 89. "I won't touch that one."— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) March 20, 2014
Cotchery assumed the #89 jersey for the Steelers when he arrived in 2011 and has worn it over the course of the last three seasons. It is unclear what number he will be wearing for the Panthers next season.
It's classy for Cotchery to come out and say off the bat how much he respects Steve Smith, and its probably a good thing too. Losing Smith was a hammer blow to many fans(especially this kid), considering what he meant to the franchise for over a decade.
With Cotchery's departure Matt Spaeth is now free, if he so chooses, to resume wearing the No. 89 jersey which he wore with the Steelers before he departed for the Chicago Bears.