The big news out of Denver this week is of Eric Decker’s impending free agency. Decker is expected to test free agency and could very possibly end up signing with another team for the 2014-2015 season.
This is national news for a variety of reasons: Decker was inconsistent at times last year but he ended up having an incredibly productive season, totaling 11 touchdowns and 1,288 receiving yards. It is widely believed that the Broncos should try to resign Decker (even though it appears that the Broncos will allow him to enter free agency.)
After listening to all the talk surrounding Decker for the past week the only thought in my mind was, “Should Broncos fans even want Decker back?”
Look, I’m not trying to say that Decker isn’t a fantastic athlete and a great wide receiver, but I don’t see the point in (potentially) overpaying him to try to keep him around.
The Broncos receiving corps is already stacked. Demaryius Thomas ranked in the top 5 for both receiving yards and touchdowns (ranked number one) last season and he is just now entering the prime of his career.
Wes Welker, although hurt for a majority of last season, is still one of the best slot receivers in the game and helps open up the field for Demaryius.
Julius Thomas emerged last season as one of the top tight ends in the game, and Peyton Manning was more than willing to utilize him on a frequent basis. In fact, Julius Thomas ranked third behind Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis for touchdowns by a tight end with 12 last year and had over 50 receiving yards per game.
With all these offensive weapons it really doesn’t seem crucial for the Broncos to go out of their way to resign someone, especially at an exorbitant price.
However, there’s no denying that Decker has a hand in making all the players mentioned above better. Opposing defenses have to be just as concerned about Decker as they are about Demaryius Thomas, which opens up routes that wouldn’t be there if they could focus solely on DT.
My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that the Broncos should try to resign him, but only at a reasonable price. Peyton Manning is, for my money, the greatest quarterback in this generation. He has the ability to make players better with his preparation and ability. Take Julius Thomas for example, a basketball player from Portland State became one of the best tight ends last year with Manning at quarterback. I’m not saying that Thomas wouldn’t be as good if he played somewhere else, but I do believe that Manning is able to bring players to their full potential better than any other quarterback in the league.
If Denver were to lose Decker, I have great confidence that they would be able to find a near suitable replacement.
With that said, Decker is still one of the best wide outs in the game and if the Broncos can get him back for a reasonable sum they should do it in a heartbeat. However, if Decker starts asking for a salary akin to Larry Fitzgerald’s $113 million with $27 million guaranteed I say the Broncos back off and find another receiver in free agency or the draft.