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Eric Decker, David Harris Departures Reportedly Due to Jets Cost-Cutting

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2017

New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) warms up before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

The New York Jets' decision to release linebacker David Harris and wide receiver Eric Decker primarily came down to money, it was reported Wednesday.

According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, owner Woody Johnson wanted to cut payroll in a rebuilding year, and parting ways with Harris and Decker accomplished that to the tune of $13.75 million.

Per ESPN.com's Rich Cimini, the Jets cut Harris, and general manager Mike Maccagnan said he informed Decker he will be cut as well if they can't find a trade partner.

Despite the financial benefits the Jets will enjoy, Maccagnan said money wasn't the deciding factor, according to Mehta.

"No, I think there's a lot of things that go into these decisions," Maccagnan said. "I think we've been focused on trying to create opportunities for a lot of players on this roster. We have some very competitive positions, and we'll see how it unfolds going forward."

The Jets are a team in transition and may struggle to win games in 2017 due to quarterback issues. Veteran Josh McCown and youngsters Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg are competing for the starting job.

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Decker is the second veteran receiver the Jets have released since the end of last season, as they also let Brandon Marshall go.

Decker missed 13 games last year due to injury, but the 30-year-old racked up 80 receptions for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns the previous year.

The 33-year-old Harris started all but one game for the Jets over the past eight seasons, and he is coming off a 2016 campaign that saw him register 94 tackles.

The inside linebacker spot had grown crowded recently, however, as New York acquired Demario Davis from the Cleveland Browns for safety Calvin Pryor.

With Harris and Decker out of the picture, the Jets have an opportunity to throw younger players into the fire in 2017 in hopes of building something for the coming seasons.

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