Steelers keep Jerricho Cotchery

Updated: April 12, 2012, 1:10 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have agreed to terms with free-agent wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery.

Cotchery posted the message "Let me see ya towels" on his Twitter account Wednesday after agreeing to a two-year deal worth around $3 million. The 29-year-old Cotchery had 16 receptions for 237 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games with Pittsburgh last season. He had a 31-yard touchdown reception during an overtime playoff loss to the Denver Broncos.

Cotchery gives the Steelers much-needed depth at wide receiver following the retirement of Hines Ward and the release of veteran Arnaz Battle. The Steelers have offered restricted free-agent wide receiver Mike Wallace a first-round tender, but he has yet to sign it.

If Wallace returns, Cotchery will likely compete for the third-receiver spot with Emmanuel Sanders behind Pro Bowlers Wallace and Antonio Brown.

The Steelers also re-signed offensive lineman Trai Essex on Thursday.

Essex has played his entire career in Pittsburgh, re-signing with the club midway through training camp last summer. He ended up starting three games while filling in on an injury depleted offensive line. The 29-year-old Essex likely will continue to serve in a backup role for the Steelers in 2012.

"I am ecstatic to announce that I am back with the @Steelers ! There is no place like #SteelerNation #EverydayIsABlessing," he wrote on his Twitter account.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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