Elway expects Decker to hit the market

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Broncos General Manager John Elway isn’t closing the door on bringing receiver Eric Decker back, but he isn’t expecting to sign him any time soon, either.

Elway said that Decker, who becomes a free agent next month, will at least test free agency to find out his value. And Elway hinted that having enough cap space for tight end Julius Thomas, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and wide receiver Wes Welker may be a higher priority than keeping Decker.

I think they have to hit the market, the market sets those, especially where you look where we are and what we have coming up,” Elway said. “Both Thomases are up next year. And Wes is, too. So all that plays into it. We’d love to have Eric back, but he’s made he comment he’s like to be back. He’s got to do what’s best for Eric, too, and vice versa. That’s why we go through this process.”

It seems unlikely at this point that the Broncos will keep Decker. They already have a lot of money tied up in their passing game, and keeping Thomas and Thomas next year will be a higher priority than keeping Decker this year. Decker appears to be the odd man out.