Wednesday, Ex-Denver Bronco Eric Decker signed with the New York Jets for a reported $36.25 million over the next five years, $15 million of that sum guaranteed. At first glance, the deal seems to be the best decision for both Decker and the Broncos who decided not to match the Jets offer.
The Broncos free up a bunch of cap space for other free agents at the receiver position including free-agent-to-be in 2015 receiver Demaryius Thomas, as well as 2015 unrestricted free agent tight end Julius Thomas.
In the same turn of fortunes, Decker makes a boat-load of money, albeit with another team.
The Jets got an animal of a receiver with Decker. The ex-Gopher weighs in at over 215 pounds and stand over 6′ 3”. Additionally, he may have had the greatest college hands in history, though he has dropped some passes in the pros. Either way, it’s almost unquestionable as to whether the Jets made out. They did.
The question is, did the Broncos and did Decker?
5 Reasons Eric Decker Jets Contract Hurts Both the Broncos and E.D.
1) Super Bowl Hopes
No one will argue whether or not the Broncos have the potential to go to the Super Bowl again next year. If Manning is healthy, they have a shot. However, even though Wes Welker was their fourth best receiver last year, he is getting older, was less productive last year than in years before and he has a history of injury.
If Welker goes down, the Broncos number three wide receiver will be 16-receptions Andre Cadwell. If that happens, a Super Bowl is not impossible, but it seriously reduces their chances of going.
And Decker going to the Jets? Who was Decker kidding when he went on the free-agent market and said it, ”wasn’t all about the money?” He signed with the Jets. Who? The jets. That out-and-up was all about the money. No Super Bowl hopes with that dung pile of a franchise.
2) Decker isn’t a Number One Receiver, but He’s Upper Echelon
Decker is now the one guy teams opposing the Jets is going to double cover. He’s too slow to shake the League’s best corners and not physical enough to make a living running across the middle to scrape them without a linebacker taking off his head. Double teams? No chance kid.
But, the Broncos weren’t being realistic either. Decker may have caught the second most catches on the team last year, but it was only 140 yards less than their number one. He’s a real legitimate number two. He and Thomas are neck and neck in talent. Thomas just has a little more. Thomas, a tight end, and an old man catching balls off the line this season? Super Bowl hopes? Naa.
That corp the Broncos have is enough for Peyton to get his stats next year, but it’s not enough for the team to dominate.
3) Time is Against Both the Broncos and Decker Now
Decker’s chances of winning a Super Bowl are zero to nil for the next five years. After his contract expires in 2019, who knows what Decker will have left. That’s not the point though. Decker’s chances of winning anything are now next to nothing.
For his big pay-day — always the second contract unless things go extremely well and someone gets a third — Decker chose the Jets. Really? Not about the money Eric? Hmmm, is there a cute little country singer by the name of Jesse James whispering in your ear about the ”not-about-the-money” notion?
On the other hand, the Broncos had better be careful about over thinking situations in the future. Yes, Decker was high priced. Yes, they have other talent. No, nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, not even for owners and teams.
They let a big fish get away in a year when their pro-bowl slot receiver will show his age and their QB will probably be checking out.
Once again, the Broncos are left with a tight end and a receiver to catch the ball off the line. It saved them money, yes, but it probably won’t play out to be the best decision.