With the release of Jordan Matthews yesterday, it brings to light why the Pats worked out Eric Decker earlier this week. The Patriots are bringing in the veteran receiver for a one year deal. Decker was a good outside threat when he was with Denver, and was good with the Jets and Titans, but had some trouble staying on the field. It seems like Jordan Matthews hamstring injury must be significant for them to replace him so fast.
Decker should fit well in this Patriots offense. He fits the mold of most receivers that thrive in New England. He will be a good added outside threat and add some height to the receiving corp. Along with Hogan they should make some pretty good vertical threats on the outside, as well as add another red zone threat to the offense. He should fill in well with the loss of Julian Edelman for the first 4 weeks. Malcolm Mitchell would have filled the role well too, but due to injuries his future seems uncertain. Guys like Kenny Britt and Phillip Dorsett should see some time as well, but are not as much of a sure thing as Decker. Cordarrelle Patterson has played well in camp, but games are a whole different animal.
This signing brings on questions as to why they did not seek other options. Why not Dez Bryant? Most assumptions would be a difference in the money they were asking for. Dez might also leave too many mouths to feed once Jules comes back, he is not one to be afraid to tell the media about when he is upset. Another name that has surfaced is Jeremy Maclin, but he has had more injury problems than Decker. An old friend in Brandon LaFell also hit free agency earlier, but he has not been very impressive since he left New England.
Decker has boasted three 1000 yard seasons. All three of those seasons also included 80+ catches and 10+ TD’s. When he’s on, he can be a really good threat for this team. However, in 2015 he missed 3 games, while only playing in 3 games the following season due to a torn rotator cuff. He also only started 8 games last season. Once Edelman comes back, he will most likely take a backseat and they’ll keep him out of harms way like they used to with Amendola. It will be interesting to see what other receivers make the roster now, but preseason is right around the corner, and all of this will be sorted out.