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Report: Broncos will allow Decker to test free agent market

Feb 4, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

Eric-Decker

Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker will be a free agent in March. He had a chance to increase his market value with a stellar performance in the Super Bowl last night but he came up short, catching just one pass for six yards as Denver suffered a 43-8 blowout.

Regardless of his performance on the big stage, Decker will still command substantial interest in the free agent market after catching 87 passes for 1,288 yards. And it appears that the Broncos will let him test the market. Could the Redskins be one of the teams in competition for his services?

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network the Broncos do not intend to sign Decker prior to the start of free agency on March 11. The team would like to have him back and they are hoping that Decker will come back to them to give them a chance to respond to the best offer. But Decker doesn’t have to do that. Many teams frown on being used to get a better offer elsewhere and any unsigned he takes back to the Broncos to match could be withdrawn.

The truth is that the Broncos simply can’t afford to pay Decker more than he is likely to get elsewhere. They have about $15 million in cap space but they have a few other free agent priorities like linebacker Shaun Phillips and they face the need to offer big contracts to linebacker Von Miller and receiver Demaryius Thomas. That might not leave room for a highly-paid No. 2 receiver.

Decker may be reluctant to leave a successful team with all-time great Peyton Manning at quarterback. But Manning is likely to be around for only another season or two and Decker’s contract will extend beyond that.

The Redskins are looking for a second wide receiver to pair with Pierre Garçon. Decker, who turns 27 next month and at 6-3 has the size that Jay Gruden likes is likely to be on the list of players that the Redskins will consider. It might be difficult to fit him in under the salary cap as Garçon has a fairly sizeable contract (5 years, $42.5 million, 2014 cap number $9.7 million) and squeezing another big WR contract in might harm their ability to fill other needs.

Bottom line, a Decker-Redskins union does not seem likely but it can’t be ruled out completely.

  1. aprilwalker2013 - Feb 4, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    As I’ve been saying..would love to see Decker as a Redskins!! I’m holding out hope it can get done! Does money do the talking,or do guys pay attention to things like what all happened with our team last year? Will it deter good players from wanting to play for the Redskins? HTTR

    • greed - Feb 5, 2014 at 7:42 PM

      he’s an average reciever who wants big money we would be fools to sign him

      • Rich Tandler - Feb 5, 2014 at 7:45 PM

        He’s much better than average but he will get much more money than he’s worth.

      • aprilwalker2013 - Feb 5, 2014 at 8:45 PM

        Sorry but I disagree..not saying we pay him truck full money but I say we try to get him! He’s the big WR we need!!

  2. kenlinkins - Feb 4, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    The Free Agent WR market is one I have never been able to get right (over value/ under value). What do you think it would take to sign him? With all the WR’s in this years draft would it be wiser to take a chance on a guy in the 4th or 5th spots that we could sign for under $600K per year for 2 to 3 years?

  3. dcsportsfan2277 - Feb 5, 2014 at 12:32 AM

    Decker is a product of Manning and may or may not be a superstar in another organization. DO NOT SIGN HIM! Sign 2 good receivers for the price of 1! We have too many needs to spend that on 1 player! HTTR!

    • greed - Feb 5, 2014 at 7:43 PM

      Agreed!

  4. murphsman - Feb 5, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Hi Rich. This is my first time posting. I really like your site because you are unbiased and tell the truth, whether us fans wanna hear it or not. I was wondering what your definition of a “true no #1 receiver” is, since everyone says on the message boards say Garcon isn’t one

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 5, 2014 at 6:45 PM

      Hello and welcome aboard. And while I generally caution against believing what you read on message boards, they are on to something here.

      A No. 1 receiver as generally defined is good enough to draw extra coverage away from other receivers and still get open and/or make catches despite double or triple coverage. Garçon is a very good receiver but I haven’t seen defenses going to extra measures to stop him.

      The good news is that there are very few No. 1′s out there so most teams don’t have one. Just to go back through Super Bowl champs of late, the Seahawks don’t have one. The Ravens, Giants, and Packers don’t. The Steelers didn’t. Without looking it up I can’t think of the last Super Bowl champ that had a No. 1.

      I’d say that the No. 1′s right now are Megatron, Fitzgerald, Dez, Brandon Marshall, Josh Gordon (at least he seems to be on track to be one), and that’s about it, although I might be forgetting one or two. Andre Johnson might be a 1.5, he used to be a 1 but I don’t think he is any more.

      They’re unusual and many teams find a way to have highly productive offenses and win lots of games without them.

      • murphsman - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:36 AM

        Thank you for responding so quickly. My follow-up question is this-do u think he doesn’t have the ability, or he never got the chance in Indy playing besides Reggie Wayne?

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