Eric Decker signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots amid plenty of buzz for the veteran receiver. But the contract, especially the guaranteed money, indicates that he’s no lock to stay in New England very long.
Following up the initial details of Decker’s deal, ESPN’s Field Yates tweeted on Saturday that the contract includes just $75,000 guaranteed, which comprises his signing bonus. He also reported that the wideout’s base salary will be $950,000.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network previously reported that Decker’s deal is worth up to $1.9 million. That is accurate, but the remaining $950,000 consists of his $75,000 signing bonus and $875,000 in per-game roster bonuses ($54,687.50 each). So essentially, Decker is only guaranteed a little more than a relatively meager game check.
The low guarantee indicates that Decker could easily find himself back on the street as a free agent by the time the Patriots cut their roster down to 53. He’ll be in a legitimate competition for a roster spot with the likes of Kenny Britt and Malcolm Mitchell at the WR position, with the former two gradually working their way back from injuries. It’ll depend on how quickly he can pick up the offense and get well-enough in sync with Tom Brady over the next few weeks.
New England paid Reggie Wayne $450,000 for just a couple of weeks at training camp, before the two sides parted ways. In light of that, Decker should be considered far from guaranteed to make the roster at the start of the regular season. But the 31-year-old is certainly the kind of player that, if the Patriots exercise patience with him, could ultimately fit well as a complementary receiver in the system.
Decker’s reps compared to players like Britt, Mitchell, and even Cordarrelle Patterson will be worth monitoring at both practice and in the preseason.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.