Eric Decker has reached an agreement with the New York Jets.
Jets team insider Eric Allen announced the deal is official:
ESPN's Adam Schefter disclosed the terms of the deal:
Decker sent a farewell to his fans in Denver on Friday, courtesy of his Instagram account:
Decker is coming off back-to-back very productive seasons with the Denver Broncos. He racked up 172 catches for 2,352 yards and 24 touchdowns over that span. Of course, that spike in his numbers coincided with the arrival of Peyton Manning.
The wideout talked about his decision on a conference call Friday, according to Kimberly A. Martin of Newsday:
Although he enjoyed plenty of success during the regular season, the playoffs were another story. The 26-year-old wideout made just eight catches for 111 yards and no touchdowns during the team's run to the Super Bowl.
That raised questions about whether he deserved a No. 1 receiver contract. He has served as a very productive No. 2 option in a high-powered offense, but the lack of contribution in the postseason is a concern. It's unclear if he can be that top option, if needed.
Pete Damilatis of Pro Football Focus provided an interesting look at Decker's advanced numbers:
Decker said immediately after the Super Bowl that he wanted to stay with Denver, as noted by Arran Andersen of KMGH-TV, even though it was known the team had some question marks due to the salary cap moving forward:
Obviously, getting to work with Manning is always an alluring option. That said, returning to Denver was always viewed as a long shot.
While Jets starting QB Geno Smith isn't Manning, here's what Decker had to say about the young signal-caller (via New York Post reporter Brian Costello):
Now that he has secured a new deal, the process of proving himself begins once again. The upside free agency offers for players hitting their prime like Decker is the big contract. The downside is the extremely high expectations that come along with it.
Those playoff struggles, including a Super Bowl performance that saw him make just one catch for six yards against a physical Seattle Seahawks defense, will ensure doubters remain. It's fair to wonder if he's prepared to handle a bigger role with more defensive attention.
That said, his production over the past couple of seasons warranted a big deal. He just needs to prove he's worth the investment by elevating his level of play in key moments. Whether he will is very much up for debate, at least for the time being.
Decker entered the offseason as one of the most talked-about free agents. His new contract ensures he'll remain in the spotlight once the new season gets underway, as well.