According to Kim Jones of the NFL Network, free agent wide receiver Eric Decker is visiting the New York Jets at their complex in Florham Park, NJ on Wednesday. After staying quiet on the first day of free agency, the Jets could be ready to start making some noise and wide receiver is a definite need spot. Does Decker fit with the Jets? Well, why wouldn’t he?
Any quality wide out is an improvement for the Jets and Decker is definitely very good. The sentiment for many people is that he isn’t a true No. 1 receiver because of his inflated stats from playing with Peyton Manning. Decker finished out 2013 with an impressive 87 receptions, 1,288 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Of course those numbers are inflated and we shouldn’t expect such gaudy numbers from Decker in New York or anywhere else.
That doesn’t mean he can’t succeed in New York and step up as one of their top targets. Just the attention he can draw helps them already. Even if he is an upper echelon No. 2, he’s a welcome addition to a Jets receiving corps that caught a league-low 13 touchdowns and finished near the bottom of the league in nearly every category in 2013.
Part of that was due to the inconsistency of rookie quarterback Geno Smith but it’s hard to pass judgment on Smith without him seeing have quality receivers at his disposal. Signing Decker would a good way to break the ice on GM John Idzik’s offseason plan of putting weapons around Smith on the Jets offense.
There are a few cheaper options for Idzik and the Jets to look at, but Decker is considered the top free agent option at wide receiver. There’s no reason for the Jets not to actively pursue a guy who may be the largest difference maker available. Jets fans are starving for a receiver they can rely on; why can’t it be Decker? You’ve got to start somewhere.
It helps that even with the much criticized Tim Tebow at QB in Denver, the 26-year old Decker flourished. Perhaps it’s a sign he can perform outside the system and outside of catching balls from Peyton.
The Jets’ aggressive play on Decker probably means overpaying him a bit, which is always a concern. The Jets have the salary cap room but more holes to fill in the offseason as well. Whether Decker is No.1 worthy may not matter depending on what the Jets offer the former Minnesota Golden Gopher wide out.
While we hate to see them give up too much money (anything over $8 million per season is probably too much) but that’s how the inept Jets may get Decker and others to come to their city. Gang green likely has to sweeten the pot to lock down someone they see as a big-time contributor on a side of the ball where they have none.
As long as he isn’t over-the-top expensive, New York should make that deal. The nature of the business is that a team that needs to upgrade as badly as the Jets gives Decker a slightly exorbitant offer but we’ll give Idzik a chance first.
This could just be the start for the Jets, who hold the 18th overall pick in this year’s draft and may very well go receiver in that first round. All of a sudden, the Jets receiving corps could be much improved and their offense would take leaps and bounds as a result.