Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Eric Decker Effect

For all the hoopla surrounding the Jets' quarterback situation, and whether Geno Smith or Michael Vick should be under center, many fans and pundits are overlooking the key piece to the puzzle. While most are willing to lament the team's general lack of offensive weaponry, few specifically mention the positive effect free-agent acquisition Eric Decker has had on New York' offense.

When the Jets signed Decker to a five-year, $36.25 million contract, most said the money was right. I would agree, especially considering what the division-rival Dolphins are (over)paying their starting receivers - Mike Wallace makes $60 million over five years, while Brian Hartline makes $30.77 million over the same length.

Somehow, Decker makes only slightly more than Hartline despite being a far better receiver. And while you can argue that Wallace is a better player this season, he was terrible last year and makes almost twice as much money. Decker wins the battle of value, and it's not really close.

The only potential knock on the Decker deal was that it wasn't enough for the Jets, which isn't a knock on Decker at all. General manager John Idzik didn't address the wide receiver position until the fourth round of this year's draft, and Shaq Evans is on injured reserve while Jalen Saunders was recently cut. Second-round tight end Jace Amaro has been predictably slow to develop like most rookie tight ends, especially ones that excelled in a spread offense in college.

To say that New York lacks weapons behind Decker is to state the obvious, as starting slot receiver Jeremy Kerley on the outside and bottom-of-the-roster players like David Nelson and Greg Salas behind him is just unacceptable.

Read the rest at Pro Football Spot

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