Financial terms of the deal were not released.
Cotchery has spent 10 seasons in the NFL, the last three with the Pittsburgh Steelers and brings some needed experience to a Carolina team that released Steve Smith in free agency and saw Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon leave via free agency.
Cotchery said it was tough leaving Pittsburgh, where he had developed a good relationship with Ben Roethlisberger and caught a career-high 10 touchdown passes last season.
“As a receiver, you look at the quarterback position and if you are going to leave a guy like (Roethlisberger) you better be sure you are going to go play with someone that can play at a high level,” Cotchery said. “I think I have that here in Cam Newton. That’s what I looked at.
“I’m excited about playing with Cam. Hopefully I can help him and we can develop that same bond I have tried to develop with past quarterbacks, and help make this grow in a special way.”
Newton is expected to be sidelined four months but should be ready in time for training camp in late July.
“Throwing and catching is just one part of the chemistry factor,” Cotchery said. “The most important part is the communication. To see how a guy is thinking when a guy is running a route - being able to process it that way in the film room is a big part, too. We will be able to do a lot of that” before training camp.
Cotchery said he’s familiar with Carolina’s offensive system and believes it will be an easy transition.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Cotchery has 437 receptions for 5,558 yards and 30 touchdowns during 10 NFL seasons. He’s been primarily used as a No. 3 receiver in Pittsburgh, starting eight games in three seasons.
He played his first seven seasons with the New York Jets.
Last season he caught 46 passes for 602 yards receiving.