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Eric Decker Free Agency
Denver Bronco's wide receiver Eric Decker will be a free agent after the 2013 NFL season. And in my opinion he needs to be the top priority for the Denver Broncos offseason. Yes Decker has had several key drops in this record-setting Broncos season but his production as a number two outside wide receiver is unmatched the last two seasons in the NFL. Don’t get confused here, Wes Welker you might say is the Broncos number two wide out but he plays the slot which in reality is a completely different position. Its kind of like comparing tight end and wide receiver they share the responsibility of catching the ball but their similarities stop there. Decker’s numbers 1,261 yds and 10 touch downs read more like a number one wide receiver’s line than a supporting cast member like he is made out to be here in Denver. Decker, drafted out of the University of Minnesota four seasons ago has emerged as a favorite target for Bronco's all world quarterback Peyton Manning. However fans, spoiled by this record-setting offense don’t seem to realize the value of a 6’3 receiver who has had back to back 1,00 yard, double-digit touchdown seasons. Of the top 120 pass catchers this season only 11 have double-digit touchdowns. Of those 11 Decker is the only number two wide receiver. Only one number two wide receiver has more yards than Decker that is the Bears Alshon Jeffrey but Jeffrey only has 7 touchdowns. Now even if we throw Welker in the mix, yes he also has 10 touchdowns this season but keep in mind he is over 500 yards behind Decker! Yes we are all well aware that Peyton Manning is the man and yes without him all these receivers would have worse numbers but fact remains he is our quarterback and Decker is producing. Decker's worst game of the season was against Baltimore in week 1 of the NFL season. And despite this terrible game the Broncos still managed 50 plus points and Peyton Manning tied the record for touchdowns thrown in one game. Point being that Decker's lack of production was not in game that hurt the Broncos. Decker's catches are far from meaningless garbage time reception as well. Decke is ranks ninth in the NFL with 63 catches for first downs.Check out Decker's receiving rankings on ESPN.com http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/player/_/stat/receiving/sort/receivingFirstDowns
How Decker affects the Denver Broncos
The Broncos will eventually have to move on from Peyton Manning and will most likely hand the reins to back up Brock Osweiler. Now please tell me who gives Osweiler the better chance at success, an unproven rookie or a veteran number two with pro bowl numbers? The Broncos could not have a better receiving core with Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Eric Decker but plugging another receiver in other than Decker could really lead to a decrease from the other two, especially Thomas. With having to cover Decker on the other side of the field safeties have to play straight up and cannot cheat to cover Thomas. Looking at other potential free agent wide outs Hakeem Nicks Jeremy Maclin and Anquan Boldin, Decker looks like a super star. Boldin’s best days are far behind him Nicks and Maclin cannot stay healthy nor posses the numbers of a Decker. Decker has proved his durability over his first four seasons with the Broncos not to mention his consistency. The Broncos will also face having to sign free agent to be Knowshon Moreno but with depth at tail back in Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman, I contend that Decker should remain our number one free agent on the board especially on the offensive side of the ball. In the new pass happy NFL what position could be more valuable outside of quarterback than wide receiver?
2014 Free Agent Wide Receivers
Which free agent wide receiver would you most like to see your team sign?
All Roads Lead to Decker
Eric Decker may have his deficiencies at receiver such as lack of physicality against press coverage or the dropsies, but his size, experience, and success make him a must sign for the Denver Broncos. This season Decker was one of only four wide outs in the entire league to be in the top 12 in yards, receptions, and touchdowns Another interesting fact about Decker that seems to be lost on the general perception is that Decker, despite his publicized drops early in the season, only had 7 all season. That's only third on the team behind Thomas and Welker. Lesson here folks drops come with targets, get over it. Detroit wide out Calvin Johnson, arguably the best receiver in the league had 8 drops, one more than Decker. Now other nay-sayers will contend that Decker is just putting up big numbers in a contract year, but I maintain that Decker is a solid consistent threat at wide out with 31 touchdowns over the last three seasons. Decker has more touchdowns in his first four seasons than any other Bronco receiver in the team’s history, keep in mind that two of these seasons were with Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow (hardly passing giants) at quarterback. Maybe you don’t like Decker’s emergence into the world of reality TV or maybe you were disappointed with his drops over the course of this record-setting season, but don’t say there is a better option for the Denver Broncos at number two outside wide receiver for 2014 and beyond.
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See how Decker measures up to other NFL Receivers
- 2013 NFL Player Receiving Stats - National Football League - ESPN
Discover the 2013 NFL pro football player statistics leaders for Receiving.