Free agent wide receiver Eric Decker has officially found his preferred landing spot: New England.
And the 31-year-old Decker was as direct one could be when talking about the possibility to joining the Patriots, too.
“I think the Patriots would be a good fit and being drafted by [Patriots offensive coordinator] Josh McDaniels in Denver [helps],” Decker said during an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “I talked with New England last year during the free agency process in June. That is always an option that I would definitely love to entertain.”
A third-round selection of McDaniels and the Broncos back in 2010, Decker was at his best during his run with the Broncos, with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons (including a career-best 1,288 yards in 2013) and 33 touchdowns over four seasons. Following his Denver run fueled largely by the success of Peyton Manning, Decker moved to the New York Jets, where he caught 163 passes and totaled 2,183 yards and 19 touchdowns in 34 games over three seasons.
The 6-foot-3 wideout spent the 2017 season with the Titans, where he suited up in all 16 regular-season games and totaled 54 catches on 83 targets for 563 yards and a touchdown. Decker then added eight catches and 106 yards and a score in Tennessee’s two-game postseason run, including a six-catch, 85-yard effort in chilly Foxboro in the divisional round. His lone playoff score was the game-winner in Tennessee’s upset win over the Chiefs in the wild card round.
“I took a few visits and talked to some teams,” Decker, whose offseason has included visits with the Raiders and Ravens, acknowledged. “At this point in my career, I want to go somewhere where I can compete for a Super Bowl and be in a good system and be with a quarterback that my skill set would be an addition to the team.”
Decker’s praise for the Patriots and his potential is what you want to hear, especially in an offseason seemingly headlined by the rumblings and stories suggesting that playing for the Patriots isn’t perceived as being “fun.”
The only problem for Decker, however, is that the Patriots aren’t exactly thin at wideout, with Kenny Britt, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Jordan Matthews, Malcolm Mitchell, and Cordarrelle Patterson all signed for next season.
Decker, who has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark three times in his NFL career, could of course catch a break with the pending four-game suspension to Edelman for his violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. But even that seems like an awkward replacement given the other in-house options the Patriots already possess.
But at least the Patriots know they have an option on the free agent market.