Eric Decker WR NYJ 5 Months

The Chargers are not expected to have enough cap space to pursue free agent Eric Decker.

Eric Decker WR NYJ 5 Months1 Comment

Free agent Eric Decker indicated that he and the Broncos aren't in the same ballpark money-wise, and he intends to "do what is best for my family."

Eric Decker WR NYJ 5 Months

The Boston Herald is the second media outlet this week to project free agent Eric Decker's forthcoming contract to be in the $10 million-per-year range.

Early last week, ESPN New York set the bar at "at least" $9 million a year. "Eric Decker might land $10 million per season," writes Herald reporter Jeff Howe. Howe believes Hakeem Nicks may only command $3 million to $4 million annually. It seems Howe is guessing, but informed guesses are notable. All signs point to Decker being paid like a true No. 1 wideout this offseason.

Eric Decker WR NYJ 5 Months

ESPN New York expects free agent Eric Decker to command "No. 1" receiver-type money, or "at least" $9 million per year.

It's a pretty optimistic projection in a year where the incoming collegiate receiver group is considered incredibly deep. We'll say this for Decker: Greg Jennings landed a deal worth $9 million annually from the Vikings last offseason, and Decker is worth more than him. Still, if Decker is going to command that kind of money, receiver-needy teams would be savvy to exhaust all possible alternatives. He's a strong No. 2 wideout and not a coverage tilter.

Eric Decker WR NYJ 5 Months

Free agent Eric Decker acknowledged he's uncertain whether the Broncos will re-sign him.

"I would love to come back," said Decker. "I don't know my future, either." Decker turns 27 in March, and multiple NFL insiders have reported the Broncos will let him reach the open market, where he's likely to receive several big-time contract offers. The franchise tag is not being discussed as a reasonable means for Denver to keep Decker. We expect him to play elsewhere in 2014.

Eric Decker WR NYJ 6 Months

Free agent Eric Decker would "love" to re-sign with the Broncos, but admits the situation is out of his control.

It's the diplomatic tone all smart free agents strike. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Denver plans to let Decker test the open market, meaning he's all but certain to be playing elsewhere next season. The "win-now" Broncos simply don't have the cap space to lock up Decker with Demaryius and Julius Thomas both entering contract years.

Eric Decker WR NYJ 6 Months

Eric Decker was held to one catch for six yards on five targets in Denver's Super Bowl loss to Seattle.

Predictably erased by Richard Sherman, Decker was catch-less at the half. He finally got on the board with an innocuous six-yard reception on Denver's initial third-quarter drive, but had a fourth-quarter drop. It was a thoroughly ineffective end to Decker's contract year, but he's likely to be highly sought-after on the 2014 free agent market. Decker turns 27 in March. We still believe any receiver-desperate teams targeting him as a "No. 1" will overpay, and likely be disappointed. Decker's numbers with Peyton Manning are an inaccurate reflection of his good-not-great skill set.

Eric Decker WR NYJ 6 Months1 Comment

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Broncos plan to let Eric Decker test the free agent market in March.

In other words, they won't be re-signing him ahead of March 11. Per RapSheet, the Broncos "view him as a No. 2," and with both Demaryius and Julius Thomas entering contract years, Denver isn't willing to commit No. 1-receiver money to Decker. The team's "hope" is reportedly that Decker will receive his best offer and give the Broncos a chance to match. Ultimately, we expect Decker to follow the money. He'll be the top wideout on the open market.

Eric Decker WR NYJ 6 Months

Eric Decker caught five passes for 73 yards in the Broncos' AFC Championship game win over the Patriots.

Decker caught the game's initial two first downs on gains of 7 and 21 on short crossing routes over the middle. He added a 19-yarder on yet another crosser late in the first quarter, setting up the first score of the game via Matt Prater's chipshot. Decker added an 18-yard catch on a back-shoulder pass and an eight-yard chain mover on Denver's opening drive of the third quarter. Playing efficient, steady football down the stretch of his contract year, Decker will continue to be Peyton Manning's No. 3 pass-game option in Super Bowl 48, behind Demaryius and Julius Thomas. He's bypassed Wes Welker of late.

Eric Decker WR NYJ 6 Months

Eric Decker was held to two catches for 32 yards in Denver's playoff win over San Diego.

Decker picked up an early first down on a comeback route in Chargers RCB Richard Marshall's coverage, gaining 13. He tacked on a third-quarter reception of 19. The contract-year wideout's biggest play came on a 47-yard punt runback that would've gone to the house had Decker not tripped over his own feet. Decker also had tough second-quarter drop on a surefire touchdown in the back of the end zone, which was tipped and intercepted by Chargers ILB Donald Butler. Expect Decker to play better in next week's matchup with New England.