Most experts and many in the bronco nation are convinced that Eric Decker has played his last game as a Bronco. Looking at the free agent market and our salary cap issues, they are probably correct. However, the recent news that Riley Cooper, Jeremy Maclin and Dennis Pitta all resigned with their teams begs the question: What is Eric Decker worth?
1. Riley Cooper and Eric Decker both made 490,000 dollars last year. Cooper had a career year with 47 catches for 835 yards with 8 Touchdowns. He averaged over 17 yards a catch which was outstanding. He just resigned in Philly for 5 years and 25 million dollars. In Coopers career he has 93 catches for 1,514 yards and 13 Touchdowns.
2. Eric Decker had 87 catches for 1,288 yards and 11 Touchdowns last season.He averaged 14.8 yards per catch. For his career he has 222 catches for 3,070 yards and 33 touchdowns. His receptions have led to 148 first downs. He had 7 drops last season. Demariyous Thomas had 8 drops and Welker had 10.
3. Jeremy Maclin resigned with Philly after missing the 2013 season for 3.5 million guaranteed with incentives that could take him to 6 million. He signed a one year contract. For his career Maclin has 258 catches for 3,453 yards with 26 touchdowns. He averages 13.4 yards per catch. His receptions have led to 158 first downs.
4. Dennis PItta resigned for 5 years with the Ravens for an average of 6 to 7 million per season. In his career Pitta has caught 122 passes for 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns. His receptions have led to 68 first downs.
So again, with these numbers what is Decker worth?
1. Cooper had a good season, recovered from his racial slur event and was a dangerous receiver. But he is clearly a number 3 receiver when Maclin returns. Seems clear that Philly dramatically overpaid here.
2. Maclin is considered to be a "playmaker" and his stats show that. But he is coming off an serious injury and I think Philly did well to get him at 3.5 million with a max of 6 million. Its a win for the team and the player.
3. The Ravens and their 20 million dollar man Flaco missed Dennis Pitta greatly, but when you look at his production it seems they also overpaid by a wide margin.
4. Which Brings us to Decker: some "experts' believe that Decker's numbers are inflated by PFM, which only time will tell. If Decker goes to another team and produces similar numbers, then the mystery will be solved. If goes the Mike Wallace route then the experts will be proven right. Seems clear though that our 4 headed monster that just broke all the NFL records was able to do so because outside of Seattle no one could cover all 4 of them. Removing Decker and replacing him with Caldwell or a rookie will be an interesting experiment.
I would put Decker above Cooper, PItta, and Maclin. If Maclin stays healthy I think he and Decker are of similar value. Decker made 490,000 last year. I think his minimum value is 6 million a season. Boldin in SF got that and Decker put up better numbers and is younger, faster, and stronger. The franchise tag on receiver is 12 million and few if any receivers are worth that. I could easily see Decker getting 8 to 9 million per season somewhere else.
For the Decker critics that think he wont produce for another team. Picture Decker on the Colts with Andrew Luck and TY Hilton and Reggie Wayne. Picture...God Forbid Decker on the Patriots with Gronkowski, Brady and Edleman. If Decker goes to a good team he will put up similar numbers. He has size, good speed and a record of production.