The Denver Broncos couldn't sign every free agent. And the New York Jets had to eventually add someone that fans could identify.
Receiver Eric Decker, one of Peyton Manning's top targets the past two years, agreed to join the Jets late Wednesday night. That ends a frustrating run for Jets fans since free agency started, the highlight of which was the team signing former Seahawks tackle Breno Giacomini ... minutes after news broke that AFC East rival New England had just agreed to terms with former Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News said the deal is five years, $36.25 million with $15 million guaranteed.
Decker gives the Jets a legitimate receiving threat, which they haven't had in a long time. The debate about Decker is an interesting one, however. He has 24 touchdowns and 2,352 yards the last two years, but that came with Peyton Manning at quarterback. Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas and Wes Welker occupied defenses this season, which also benefited Decker. Now Decker goes from Manning to Geno Smith, and will go from being flanked by guys like Thomas to Stephen Hill. We'll see if he can duplicate his production with that cast of characters. Critics of Decker will also point to him getting just one catch in last season's Super Bowl against Seattle.
Decker did have eight touchdowns in 2011 with Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow as his quarterbacks, so he has done well without Manning before. The Jets will be relying on Decker as a No. 1 receiver – come on, who else is it going to be, Jeremy Kerley? – and hope that Decker's numbers are not just a product of playing in a great passing offense in Denver.
At this point, Jets fans have to be optimistic. There hasn't been anything else yet this free-agency period for them to get excited about.
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