Wide receiver Eric Decker made the unlikely choice to join the floundering New York Jets during free agency this year. He may be regretting that decision.
Eric Decker’s Leaving Denver for the Jets wasn’t the wide receivers first option. Reports suggest he’s missing the comfort of a good quarterback.
There were a few teams interested in Decker’s services, but the Denver Broncos free agent decided to give Rex Ryan and the New York Jets the first shot at signing him, where his services were needed most. Last season, Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley and Tight end Jeff Cumberland were the Jets’ top receivers in 2013.
Decker reportedly had no preference on where he signed, in a relatively slow wide receiver market. Now he may be rethinking that decision as the Jets, have wrapped up last place in the AFC East this season.
Decker posted career highs of 87 receptions and 1,228 receiving yards in 2013 with 11 receiving touchdowns. The 2010 third-round pick was one of the NFL’s most productive wide receivers over those last two years with 172 receptions (11th in the NFL), 2,352 receiving yards (ninth in the NFL) and 24 touchdowns (tied for third in the NFL).
However, despite the numbers, Decker still had trouble being considered a number one receiver, on a team with no number one receiver.
Adding insult to injury Decker went to a team with a General manager who reportedly has been plotting the head coaches demise since the GM joined the organization. A GM who drafted poorly at positions of need and left the team without any viable cornerbacks after cutting the teams top two highly rated defensive backs in Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie Leaving Rex Ryan’s defensive secondary hobbled.
But it gets worse for Decker and it’s no wonder he’s depressed as the team continues to press a bad situation by choosing second year quarterback Geno Smith over their veteran backup, Michael Vick with continued disasterous results.
Decker’s production has suffered with only 49 receptions for 531 yards and only 4 touchdowns on the season.
Eric Decker caught two passes for 18 yards in the Jets’ Week 13 loss to the Dolphins.
Not what Decker signed up for. He’s got to hate driving to work every morning. Decker isn’t helping the cause. He committed a drop on the opening drive. The Jets attempted just eight passes all night before the final drive. Decker was targeted a team-high four times. Nobody in this Jets offense is worth owning. Dec 2 – 12:09 AM – RotoWorld.com
Despite the current circumstances, Decker maintains that;
“People sometimes don’t understand the free agency process,” “It’s not like Denver was calling my agent to get me back.”
Decker did not get an offer to re-sign with the Broncos. “So for all the people that have accused Eric of choosing money. You don’t know anything,” Jessie James Decker posted on Instagram.
Decker, a former University of Minnesota star, played four years in Denver, two with Peyton Manning as his quarterback. In those seasons, Decker had more than 1,000 receiving yards, with career highs of 87 catches and 1,288 yards during 2013′ Super Bowl run.
As a free agent in March, Decker signed a five-year, $36.25 million deal with the New York Jets.
The Jets record is now 2-10 and have the NFL’s worst quarterback situation. Exactly the opposite of what Decker’s career needed to maintain his growth.
As for Free Agency, Decker stated:
“We had to feel out who was interested, and having the New York Jets being very interested” led to ” you try to make the best decision for you personally and for my football career. I would bet everything that I have that we wouldn’t be in this situation, and unfortunately we are.“
Decker said his agent, Todd France, had inquired with the Denver Broncos a to how much they’d be willing to pay to keep him, signing a new contract with the team. Remarkably…
“I don’t think we ever got an answer back, so it’s not like I had options to weigh. It was kind of I had to make a decision, and again I felt good with the decision that I made — and I never regret going forward.”
The Jets quarterback’s Michael Vick and Geno Smith have struggled this year behind a susceptible offensive line. Second year project, formerly slated to be the franchise quarterback, Geno Smith, started his ninth game Monday night ( a Jets Ring of Honor induction game) vs. Miami, resulting in yet another miserable outing completing only 7 of 13 passes for 65 yards and an interception in a 19-16 loss in which the team had rushed for an incredible 277 yards. Prompting Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan to state: “…we can’t buy a win”.
Decker missed two receptions himself during the game. That was compounded by two missed field goals by Mr.automatic, Nick Folk. A blocked punt. Two missed interception opportunities and finally a missed reception by Jeff Cumberland in the final moments. It’s been that kind of year.
Eric Decker has 49 catches for 531 yards, making a third straight 1,000-yard season out of reach. His average has dropped from 14.8 yards to 10.8 yards per reception.
Decker’s wife is country music star Jessie James Decker, an ardent supporter of her husband and his career. She recently said her husband has been “depressed” by this season’s developments and has been vocal on social media about the team and it’s fans. But Decker has downplayed those comments about his being depressed, when Honestly, he has every reason to be.
Reportedly Decker had commented on his replacement Emmanuel Sanders success with the Denver Broncos.
“Well, she knows she’s kind of overdramatizing it, It’s been difficult, no question. When you’re a competitor, and having two years prior of winning a lot of games; going to the playoffs, it’s definitely a hard adjustment, and no adjustment that any player wants to make. Adding, “I take it hard. I’m an emotional guy. I wear my emotions on my sleeves, and she knows that it’s been difficult.”
New York Jets vs. The Minnesota Vikings, a homecoming of sorts.
Decker, (6′ – 3″, 214#) as a wide receiver starred for Minnesota State university, Gophers from 2006-09. The Jets are slated to play the Vikings and Eric hasn’t been back to Minnesota in several years.
“A win would be huge,” said Decker, who grew up an hour away from Minneapolis in Cold Spring, MN. “Just a win in general would be huge right now, but being back home in front of a home crowd would be very exciting.”
“It’s more exciting than anything just to come back to campus, I don’t get back too often, so it’d be nice to see some familiar faces and talking to the football coaching staff, friends, family. Everybody’s coming to the game.”
One of those friends is Vikings cornerback Marcus Sherels, a former Gophers teammate.
“He’s always been a hard worker, a really good player,” Sherels said. “… He can pretty much do it all. He’s got pretty good hands, fast, a big receiver.”
Sherels won’t need a ticket to see his friend for the first time in a few years. They’ll be facing off against each other.
It remains to be seen if the Jets will be able to get the ball to Decker, who would love to shine for his hometown crowd.
It remains to be said that Decker is acutely aware of an NFL players career longevity and that he may be with a team at the start of a rebuilding process. What his future holds even he doesn’t know at this juncture.
In his recent interview with Jets’ reporter Amanda Pflugrad upon his arrival to the university of Minnesota, Decker reiterated the importance of each player highlighting their skill set. He reminds us and perhaps his teammates, that they don’t get many chances to do so overall. It all goes on tape and everyman is playing for their jobs.
by Jim Boyd @OneJetDrive on RantSorts.com, Twitter & Facebook