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Denver could be hoping Decker gets big offer elsewhere

Divisional Playoffs - San Diego Chargers v Denver Broncos Getty Images

With free agency fast approaching, the Denver Broncos face the potential departure of one of their starting receivers.

And the Broncos may not be all that upset about it happening.

Eric Decker, a third-round pick in 2010, hits the market on March 11.  With big numbers over the last two years aided by the presence of Peyton Manning, Decker could be one of the few guys to get overpaid early in the process — especially by a cap-rich team with an owner who wants to make a splash for business purposes more than football reasons.

Some in league circles believe the Broncos hope Decker gets that big offer and pounces on it, so that the Broncos aren’t faced with the dilemma of paying Decker something in the range of $5 million per year or politely telling him they’re not interested.

With receiver Wes Welker counting for $8 million against the cap this year and both receiver Demaryius Thomas and tight end Julius Thomas entering the final year of their rookie deals, the Broncos have only so much cap space for pass catchers.

Decker seems to realize that the Broncos don’t want to make the investment necessary to keep him.

“I guess right now I can’t wait to get the process started, and then to get it over with so I can get settled and get ready for the next chapter in my life,” Decker recently told Mike Klis of the Denver Post.

While that “next chapter” primarily consists of welcoming a daughter to the world in the next week or two, his words suggest a finality as it relates to the only NFL home of his four-year career.

For the Broncos, it shouldn’t be difficult to replace Decker.  Even with several veteran receivers re-signing in recent days, plenty will be flooding the market.  And plenty would love to catch passes from Peyton Manning — especially after Decker shows that two seasons of Manning-fueled stats can result in a huge payday elsewhere.

That’s another reason for Denver to root for Decker to get paid.  After the big-money phase of free agency ends, the Broncos can use Decker’s deal as the ultimate recruiting tool for a veteran receiver to sign a reasonable, short-term contract to play with Peyton.

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34 Responses to “Denver could be hoping Decker gets big offer elsewhere”
  1. joetoronto says: Mar 5, 2014 9:12 AM

    There’s no money for Decker, or anybody else not named Peyton Manning.

  2. champgiff says: Mar 5, 2014 9:18 AM

    It’s tough to see Decker go because he’s a high-character guy with great work ethic. When Tebow was “throwing” the rock for Denver, this guy didn’t complain a bit, put his head down, and blocked his arse off. While someone will overpay for him, they won’t be getting a bust for their $.

  3. cropslx says: Mar 5, 2014 9:21 AM

    Come to Carolina…We will give you 1 million a year :) Cam needs some weapons, but on have no cap space….Thanks Marty Hurney!!

  4. Pat says: Mar 5, 2014 9:21 AM

    hahaha what? The Broncos would sign him for $5M in a heartbeat dude.

  5. vikings2102 says: Mar 5, 2014 9:22 AM

    Come home to MN Decker!!

  6. 21stnprime says: Mar 5, 2014 9:25 AM

    Decker was relevant even when Tebow was QB

  7. titansbro says: Mar 5, 2014 9:26 AM

    As a Titans fan, I hate Kenny Britt & I am glad he will no longer be in a Titans uniform. But I would be kinda shocked if teams like the Broncos & Patriots don’t go after him. He has been a head case for the Titans & he had an awful year last year. But that means they could get him on the cheap & the guy has serious talent.

  8. grandpoopah says: Mar 5, 2014 9:30 AM

    Could Denver part with Welker and keep Decker instead? He’s younger and healthier.

  9. imthaschmidt says: Mar 5, 2014 9:30 AM

    New England bit a year early and got Amendola when they should have waited and got Decker. Scary to think of what this guy might do with Brady and Bills playcalling.

  10. vietnambob2473 says: Mar 5, 2014 9:49 AM

    Broncos would love to pay decker 5 million per year, the problem is decker wants 10. If 5 was the number, denver would have signed him already

  11. nomoreliesfortoday says: Mar 5, 2014 10:04 AM

    He did catch 8 TDs with Tebow at the helm……how bad can he be?

  12. willycents says: Mar 5, 2014 10:28 AM

    Heck, I would catch passes from Manning for free. All I lack is talent, and I’m too damn old to run. :(

  13. listenup823 says: Mar 5, 2014 10:28 AM

    @joetoronto
    There’s no winning record for you this year or for anyone wearing a Faiders uniform… “Commitment to mediocrity”

  14. bigblu73 says: Mar 5, 2014 10:30 AM

    vietnambob2473 says:
    Mar 5, 2014 9:49 AM
    Broncos would love to pay decker 5 million per year, the problem is decker wants 10. If 5 was the number, denver would have signed him already
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    Bronco’s would love to pay Decker 5 Mill per? LOL Who pays a WR3 5 Mill per year? Lets be honest he was truthfully Mannings 4th option, Thomas, Thomas, Welker, then Decker. Almost any decent WR can come in and produce with that much talent around them. Plus you had Moreno catching a zillion passes out of the backfield. I’m not saying he’s not decent but if you get to match up with safeties and nickelback db’s 95% of the time you are supposed to look good. He will get over paid somewhere tho’ I’m sure, and once he has to match up with the Revis’, Sherman’s, Peterson’s, Haden’s of the world he will resemble who he truly is.

  15. chunkala says: Mar 5, 2014 10:33 AM

    I don’t think anyone is saying he’s not good, just that his numbers are inflated. He played with the league MVP after all and had a ton of good receivers (not Welker) alongside him.
    Plus, everyone always focuses on receptions for stat purposes, thats like saying Albert Pujols had a great season because he had 670 ABs. If you play you’ll get receptions. The NFL is 80% passing nowadays too.

  16. steelerben says: Mar 5, 2014 10:36 AM

    Decker is headed to Cleveland. They have money to blow and desperately need someone that can catch to take the heat off of Gordon. They also just cut Bess. Decker makes for a perfect number two guy that you can rely on to make plays. His work ethic rubbing off on Gordon wouldn’t be a bad thing either.

    Look for Cleveland to snag him in free agency, and grab a QB and RB in the draft.

  17. buckybadger says: Mar 5, 2014 10:36 AM

    I keep hearing this talk that this guy isn’t that good and I find that to be a bunch of BS. The guy can play and it is more than just a noodle armed QB that is making him look good. I would rather have a WR like him in his prime than Welker who gets a case of the drops and is past his prime.

    The writing is on the wall for the Broncos. They pushed all their chips in last year with all their FA signings and now they have to let a good player they drafted walk. They should have cut Champ a year ago as well.

  18. sdchicken says: Mar 5, 2014 10:38 AM

    I’d take Decker to Philly. Wide open offense where he can use his size to complement Djax and Maclin. Him and Cooper plus the two speed guys? Sounds fun to me.

  19. ravenswhat says: Mar 5, 2014 10:40 AM

    Why are people down playing how good he is? I would get rid of welker over Decker any day. This is a guy that scored 8 tds with Tebow at QB. He’s really good. His loss will be felt. The broncos are an arrogant organization.

  20. purpleguy says: Mar 5, 2014 10:41 AM

    Decker at $5M/yr is a better deal, long or short term, than Welker at $8M/yr. Denver will regret letting Decker go.

  21. tremoluxman says: Mar 5, 2014 10:54 AM

    I watched Decker play at the U of M here during his college career. Denver is nuts if they let him walk. He’d be welcome back to MN and the Vikings.

  22. garrison1981 says: Mar 5, 2014 11:08 AM

    Detroit would be nice fit

  23. marlinjackson82 says: Mar 5, 2014 11:23 AM

    He caught 4 TDs from Tebow and 4 from Orton in 2011

  24. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Mar 5, 2014 11:26 AM

    “Some in league circles believe … ”

    Hmmm.

  25. fleaman1381 says: Mar 5, 2014 11:27 AM

    I really like Decker and would love to have him on my team (not likely to happen though).

    I do think he will be overpaid though. I don’t really see him as a number 1 type. He catches the ball and that’s what you need.

    I have to admit though… I always wanted to see him make a long run in the open field… with the hopes he would trip. I think that happened, what? Like 2 or 3 times this past season?

  26. bigjdve says: Mar 5, 2014 12:20 PM

    Decker is a very good WR, the problem is that he thinks is #1 WR material and the reality is that he isn’t.

    He was Manning’s 4th look sometimes 5th. That was because last year he had some consistency issues and he just wasn’t breaking open as often as a #1 can.

    He deserves to get paid and I am sure that he will, probably overpaid. That is okay though. The best of luck to him.

    I hope he finds a good spot to land.

  27. realfootballfan says: Mar 5, 2014 12:36 PM

    Maybe he’ll go home to Minnesota and never be heard from again like Greg Jennings. Decker deserves to get paid, just wouldn’t be me doing it if I was a GM in the league. Seattle predictably completely erased him from the Super Bowl due to his limited athletic ability.

  28. tanna456 says: Mar 5, 2014 12:46 PM

    To @Ravenswhat: How is the Broncos organization arrogant if they let Decker go?!! I don’t want to lose him, but to label the organization as arrogant just shows that your football opinions are based on emotions, not football. It’s either that, or you’re just hatin’ on the Broncos for other reasons. NEWSFLASH: This goes on every year, in EVERY organization!!!! It’s not personal. Remember when the Colts let PEYTON MANNING go? It wasn’t personal, it was a decision based on the future of their organization. I could give you MANY more examples, but shouldn’t need to….

  29. broncosnative says: Mar 5, 2014 1:16 PM

    Or those who are saying decker’s success was because of manning, answer this one question and I’ll leave you alone. What exactly did manning do to help decker succeed besides throwing accurate passes to him? Does this means that megatron is overpaid because his QB help pad his stats by always throwing it to him? Megatron is making nearly 20mil a year, no WR in this day in age should be making that much a year. I say decker may get between 7-8 million a year on a 5 year deal so that puts him at 35 to 40mil with bonuses. The broncos are not arrogant or stupid for letting decker walk, it’s a business. All 32 clubs are gonna lose a guy they’d wish they could keep, can’t have all. Wait until the Seahawks players contract expires, no way will they be able to keep that team together but I tell you now, Wilson, Sherman and Thomas will be their you priorities to resign.

  30. tanna456 says: Mar 5, 2014 1:23 PM

    Agree!

  31. surfinbird1 says: Mar 5, 2014 1:56 PM

    Manning would pay him like a pizza delivery guy as long as he gets his.

  32. holdeninpdx says: Mar 5, 2014 3:30 PM

    Decker is overrated. Let him walk. I think I can speak for all Denver residents, who are sick of his monotone radio ads! There are plenty of dink and dunk receivers who’d love to catch Peyton’s dying quails…

  33. jjackwagon says: Mar 5, 2014 8:56 PM

    Of the top five pass catchers on the Denver offense last year he has the lowest catch percentage, numbers don’t lie. In case that isn’t enough…1 catch for 6 yds in the biggest game of his life! He is no better than a #3 WR.

  34. sinisterg says: Mar 7, 2014 2:25 AM

    He’s going to AZ , Cards will have him for, season or two.

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