Decker to the Jets
By Christian Pierre Louis
From the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the Meadowlands of New Jersey.
That is the move free agent WR Eric Decker will make as he and the New York Jets have agreed on a five year deal that is for $36.25 million over five years with $15 million in guarantees.
After being the second option to the more talented Demaryius Thomas in Denver, Decker will take on No. 1 receiver responsibilities in Rex Ryan’s “ground ‘n’ pound” offense.
Whereas Decker had other quality targets such as Thomas, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas to draw defenders away in Denver’s record-breaking attack, he’s going to be the center of attention in a passing game led by an inconsistent Geno Smith.
Do not misunderstand what I am saying, this is a major get for the Jets. Decker, still in his prime at age 27, set career highs in receptions (87) and receiving yards (1,288) last season while reaching double digits in touchdowns for the second consecutive season.
The Jets top two receivers only totaled 979 receiving yards last year and the team was 31st in passing offense. Right now, Decker’s clearly the best receiver on the Jets, who may add another with their first-round pick. Their other experienced receivers are Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill and David Nelson. They certainly didn’t put fear in the hearts of defenses.
Decker is Denver usually played in one of the outside spots, but the Broncos used him in the slot at times as well. Decker was also used in a punt return role at times in his career.
It will be extremely interesting to see how defenses now adjust to Decker being “the guy” on a team that is weak at the receiver position. He hasn’t been the go-to guy the past two seasons with the Broncos, there was no need for it, as that team had a plethora of options around him.
Not the same case in New York.
He will be the man that the team calls upon when they need a big play down the field and now everyone in the NFL knows it.
Overall, this was a good signing by the Jets, they desperately needed more weapons offensively and they grabbed the best receiver out there. Now, it is time for the organization to put more pieces around Geno Smith and Eric Decker, whether it may be in free agency or the draft, the team still needs more offensive talent to compete with the best in the AFC.
If the Jets can add more pieces to Decker on the offensive side of the ball to compliment that young and tough defense, they could have some real potential to fly high in this upcoming season.
Christian Pierre-Louis is a journalism major at Seton Hall University. He is a HUGE fan of the, LA Lakers, NY Giants, and NY Yankees. He is also an assistant sports producer at Seton Hall’s radio station WSOU 89.5 FM. You can follow him on twitter at @CPL_78.