The team that drafted and nurtured his career for the first four seasons didn't even offer him a contract extension. You see Decker just finished a two-season stretch playing with Peyton Manning where he accumulated 172 catches for 2,352 yards and 24 touchdowns. He was in line for a big payday, the kind of payday that usually befits a #1 receiver, and the Broncos were not in a position where they needed to pay up. They have a true #1 in Demaryius Thomas to go along with a full compliment of other receivers, not to mention the best quarterback in the game. The Jets gave Decker a fat contract and the Broncos filled his place with someone cheaper, someone with a slightly different skill set.
"I miss the comfort of the City of Denver, the organization and weather of Denver,"
Decker may be bitter about his departure, he admitted early in the season that he roots against his former team. That being said he had nothing negative to say about Emmanuel Sanders:
"He's playing great and has a different skill set than me," Decker said. "He's complemented Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, and Julius Thomas very well."
From a fan perspective, Broncos fans shouldn't feel anything but positive feelings towards Eric Decker. Decker played at a high level, earned a fat pay-check, and took it. In this industry where the word loyalty has absolutely no meaning, Eric did what was best for him and his family. While he may not be the level of player his two-year stint under Peyton Manning suggest, Eric Decker is one of the top receivers in the game. He made plays with Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow, and now with Geno Smith.
Eric has been fighting a hamstring issue that has bothered him in the preseason, but in three games of work, he has still managed to catch 14 balls for 204 yards and 2 touchdowns with a stuggling Geno Smith.
It remains to be seen how big of an effect Eric will have on today's game, but it seems like both parties have reaped the rewards.
Sanders vs. Decker
Emmanuel Sanders, 42 targets, 32 receptions, 435 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 drop
Eric Decker, 25 targets, 14 receptions, 204 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 drops
H/T to 9 news for the quotes