Rumors have swirled around Eric Decker this offseason, especially after the Jets released another former Bronco and fellow wide receiver Brandon Marshall in early March. Now it appears that those rumors were well founded. Adam Schefter, and others, reported yesterday that the Jets are set to part ways with the veteran receiver after injury shortened his 2016 season to just three games. The team will seek opportunities to move him via trade this week, but plans to release Decker if a trade partner can’t be found.
And now the Jets are parting ways with WR Eric Decker, sources tell ESPN. Have told WR they either will release or trade him this week.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 6, 2017
Decker, age 30, is a 7 year veteran who is well known in Broncos Country. He was chosen by the Broncos with the 87th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, five picks after the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted the man who replaced Decker in Denver, current Broncos fan favorite Emmanuel Sanders.
As part of the 2012 and 2013 Peyton Manning offenses, Decker was an important component of some of the best offensive football in Broncos history. In his two years with Manning he piled up 2,352 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns. John Elway’s decision to let Decker move on after the end of his rookie contract was surprising and somewhat controversial, but is hard to fault after Sanders delivered three consecutive 1,000 yard seasons on a contract worth over two million dollars less per year. Elway got great value in that deal, and saw fit to reward Sanders with a hefty extension last season.
Decker is the second veteran receiver to become available this week after the Chiefs released Jeremy Maclin last Friday. With both players suddenly available, it’s a surprisingly good June environment for any receiver-needy teams out there.
Ironically, the Jets are arguably the team that fits the receiver-needy mold best right now. With Decker gone their presumed starting WRs are the less than inspiring duo of Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson. Given that Decker has produced three 1,000 yard seasons and 52 touchdowns in his career, this move is honestly a bit of a head-scratcher for a team lacking quality receivers.
Who else could be looking for receiver help? The Ravens are one candidate. Breshad Perriman and Mike Wallace are insufficient in a division that boasts the likes of Antonio Brown and A.J. Green. The Rams also come to mind, whose likely starting wideouts have both never broken 700 yards in a season. And another option might be the Bills, who don’t seem sold on Sammy Watkins’s durability.
Or what about the Broncos? Broncos Country does love a good reunion, and Decker is a reliable pass catcher.
Don’t count on it happening, though. The Broncos are already set for #1 and #2 WRs, and have a couple of interesting prospects for the slot receiver role. On top of that, the Broncos have already dedicated more cap money to WRs than all but a few teams in the league, and it wouldn’t make sense to spend even more on that position. Someone will give Decker a decent payday to come catch touchdowns for them, but it shouldn’t be the Broncos.
Editor’s Note: Surprise! Welcome Taylor Kothe to the Mile High Report staff. He has been a solid FanPost contributor for a long time and we are proud to have him as a member of our team. Go Broncos!