Wide receiver Eric Decker has announced his retirement following a disappointing showing in preseason and training camp with the Patriots. The Patriots signed Eric Decker on August 2nd to a 1-year deal after placing wide receiver Jordan Matthews on season ending IR. The 31-year old Decker played 8 NFL seasons with the Broncos, Jets and Titans and finished his career with 439 catches, 5816 receiving yards and 53 touchdowns.
The writing was on the wall for Decker's departure following Friday night's preseason game against the Panthers in which he took 0 snaps with the first team offense. Decker had big problems with drops all throughout his short time with the Patriots and Friday's showing made it clear he was not the answer at wideout for the Patriots. In the first series of the 2nd half, Decker had a drop, an egregious false start penalty and a over ran route on a deep ball down the sideline where he made no effort to stay inbounds and make the catch. Decker's retirement decision was in all likelihood a result of his poor performance and Decker was expected by many to be cut had he not retired.
Decker's retirement just adds more drama to the soap opera that's become of the Patriots wide receiving core throughout the offseason. Decker joins a long list of wide receivers to leave the team in some form in 2018. The list most notably includes Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell, Jordan Matthews, and Kenny Britt.
The emergence of wide receivers Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson in the preseason has certainly been encouraging, but the Patriots depth chart at the position continues to run thin and Julian Edelman's 4 game suspension continues to loom. All the while, Dez Bryant remains a free agent and can be had for a price that appears to be getting lower and lower after reports that the Browns offered him a contract short of $5 million for 1 year. News surfaced shortly after that Bryant was holding off on signing with the Browns in hopes of a contract offer from a better team. Still, all signs point to the Patriots having no interest in bringing in the former Cowboys wide receiver. Bryant continues to be a topic of conversation amongst fans and perhaps as the Patriots get more and more desperate they will take a look at the once great Bryant.
Photo: (Charles Krupa - AP Photo)