With all of the young talent the Jets have at wide receiver, should the Jets keep Eric Decker? Rich Cimini hearkens back to the wisdom of Parcells and semi-labels Decker a progress stopper. The player who prevents young talent from getting playing time.
Eric Decker is coming off of two serious surgeries, but by all reports should be healthy. He is still young and should still be productive. For young quarterbacks like Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, there is value in having a veteran receiver. On the other hand, there may be more value in having the young quarterback develop chemistry with the receivers who will be around long term.
Based on their size and similarities, Chad Hansen has been given the distinction of being Decker’s heir. Long term, Decker does not have a place on the team. Next year is also the dummy year in his contract: The Jets can save $7.5 million with only a $1.5 million dead money hit.
Does Decker have value as a mentor? In theory yes. Decker earned his place in the NFL by learning the techniques needed to succeed. He knows the fundamentals and could pass them along to the younger players – will he though? Does anyone know that Decker will pay it forward? Why is Decker a better mentor for the players over Quinton Patton who played two years for John Morton?
Truthfully, Patton and Decker are probably competing for the same roster spot. If all things are equal at the end of training camp, one of the two will be cut. The one who will be cut, is the one who is making the most money – that will be Decker.
Barring an injury, this could be the Jets depth chart at receiver to start the season: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, Quinton Patton, Charone Peake. The Jets could choose to carry 7 receivers to start the season, if they cut down on another position – Say carrying 3 running backs. If Decker plays well they could trade him mid-season. There are several teams will enough cap space to take him on mid season.