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Decker with the New York Jets in 2016
|No. 87, 81|
|Born:||March 15, 1987|
Cold Spring, Minnesota
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||214 lb (97 kg)|
(Cold Spring, Minnesota)
|NFL Draft:||2010 / Round: 3 / Pick: 87|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Eric Thomas Decker (born March 15, 1987) is a former American football wide receiver who spent eight seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football and college baseball at the University of Minnesota, and was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He also played for the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans.
Decker attended Rocori High School in Cold Spring, Minnesota. He was present in school when the Rocori High School shooting took place, hiding in a cupboard with other students until they were rescued by police officers. At school he was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. In each sport he was awarded all-conference, all-area and all-section honors. Additionally, he was named football team MVP two years in a row. During his prep football career he had 2,156 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns.
As a freshman, Decker finished with 378 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
As a sophomore, Decker finished with 909 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
In early spring 2009, Decker met with Thomas Goudy, a wide-out coach in St. Louis, Missouri. Goudy helped Decker with his ball-holding technique. Decker spent three weeks in his training camp before starting the summer conditioning camp. Decker began the season with the consistent play that had been a hallmark of his Gophers' career. Through three games, Decker was sixth in the nation in receiving yards, averaging 124.8 per game. Sports Illustrated columnist Stewart Mandel declared Decker the third-best wide receiver in college football, behind Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant and Georgia's A. J. Green. On October 27, 2009, it was announced that Decker would miss the rest of the season after suffering a sprained foot against Ohio State. Decker was also teammates with Minnesota Vikings cornerback Marcus Sherels.
As a senior, Decker finished with 758 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
Decker played outfield for the Minnesota baseball team. He was selected in the 39th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers and the 27th round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft by the Minnesota Twins.
Decker’s senior season was cut short due to surgery he underwent to repair torn ligaments in his left foot. As a result, he was unable to participate in both the NFL combine and Minnesota’s pro day workout. He scored a 43 on the Wonderlic test at the combine, the top score for the group of prospects who took the test in Indianapolis.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP||Wonderlic|
|6 ft 3 1⁄8 in
|4.54 s||15 reps||43|
|All values from combine|
Decker was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the third round (87th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. He signed a four-year contract through 2013 worth $2,522,000. Because of a foot surgery, Decker sat out the Broncos rookie mini-camp and OTA's. Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels said he hoped he'd be ready by the season's opener, “At this point we’re going to err on the side of being real careful and not put them in a situation where (it’s) the last day of minicamp on June 13th and all of a sudden we have a foot injury," said McDaniels. "Hopefully, everybody will be ready by August.”
On July 27, 2010, the Denver Broncos signed Decker to a 4-year contract. In the preseason, Decker led all NFL rookies in receptions, but due to the Broncos' depth at receiver, Decker didn't see much action in the offense until late in the regular season. He did contribute on special teams, however, recording seven special teams tackles while returning 17 kickoffs for 429 yards giving him 25.2 yards per return average.
Toward the end of the 2011 season, the Broncos did start to mix Decker into the offense more, after fellow rookie Demaryius Thomas (a first round draft pick) went down with an injury. Decker finished his rookie season with 6 catches that went for 106 yards and a touchdown—a six-yard pass from Tim Tebow.
Decker's role in Denver's offense expanded in 2011. In a Week 1 Monday Night Football loss to the Oakland Raiders, Decker returned a fourth quarter punt 90 yards for a touchdown, but the Broncos lost 23-20.
In Week 2, making his first career start, Decker hauled in 5 passes for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns, the second on a 52-yard catch in the 4th quarter as Denver recorded their first win of the 2011 season, 24-22 over the Cincinnati Bengals. On September 25, in Denver's Week 3 17-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Decker had a career-high 7 catches for 48 yards. Over the next 4 weeks, Decker continued his steady play by hauling in 18 passes for 192 yards and 4 touchdowns.
On November 13, in a Week 10 divisional road game at Arrowhead Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs, starting quarterback Tim Tebow attempted a pair of deep passes for Decker, the first almost being hauled in off a deflection and the other being knocked down by the defender. But in the 4th quarter, with Denver hanging on to a slim 10-7 lead, Tebow hit Decker on a go route deep for a 56-yard touchdown catch, Decker's only catch of the game and only Tebow's 2nd completion, as the Broncos won 17-10 to move into a second place tie in the AFC West with the San Diego Chargers and Chiefs. In the first round of the playoffs against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Decker was taken out of the game due to injury.
Overall, in the 2011 season, Decker finished with 44 receptions for 612 yards and eight touchdowns.
Heading into the 2012 regular season, Decker seemed primed to have a productive year with quarterback Peyton Manning now running Denver's offense. On May 12, Denver Broncos' offensive coordinator Mike McCoy noted that Decker and fellow receiver Demaryius Thomas are "like two little kids in a candy shop right now," when asked about the receivers eagerness to work with Manning. In April, Decker attended a Colorado Rockies' baseball game with Manning and began workouts with him prior to training camp.
Decker had a breakout season in 2012. In Week 3 against the Houston Texans, he had eight receptions for 136 yards. From Week 4 to Week 9, he recorded seven total receiving touchdowns over the five games. In Week 15 against the Baltimore Ravens, he finished with eight receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown. In Weeks 16–17, he recorded back-to-back games with two receiving touchdowns. He had 85 catches for 1,064 yards and 13 touchdowns. He finished ranked 20th in the league in terms of yards for wide receivers and the 13 touchdowns was the second most among wide receivers in the 2012 season.
In the 2013 season, Decker contributed to Peyton Manning's historical passing season. In Week 3, against the Oakland Raiders, he finished with eight receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown. In Week 7, against the Indianapolis Colts, he finished with eight receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown. In Week 13, Decker had a career day against the Kansas City Chiefs with eight catches for 174 yards and team record tying four touchdowns, which earned him the AFC Offensive Player of the Week award. He followed up that performance with eight receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans. In Week 16, against the Houston Texans, he finished with 10 receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, Decker had 87 receptions for 1,288 yards, both career highs, and 11 touchdowns. The Broncos reached Super Bowl XLVIII, but lost 43–8 to the Seattle Seahawks. Decker was held to one reception for six yards in the Super Bowl due to tight coverage by the Seahawks' defensive backs.
Decker signed a five-year $36.25 million contract with the New York Jets on March 12, 2014. During this season, he scored five touchdown receptions. In Week 17, Decker was targeted 11 times in Sunday’s season-ending 37-24 victory against the Miami Dolphins and came up with 10 receptions for a career-high 221 yards and one touchdown. His 10 catches tied a career-high.
Decker put together a solid second season with the Jets in 2015. He started the season with one receiving touchdown in each of his first four games from Weeks 1–6. From Weeks 8-10, he had three straight games with a receiving touchdown. From Weeks 14–17, he had four straight games with a receiving touchdown. In his most productive season with the Jets, Decker caught 80 passes for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns.
On September 16, 2016, Decker was fined $9,115 for a late hit he made on cornerback Josh Shaw on opening day against the Cincinnati Bengals. On October 12, 2016, the Jets placed Decker on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury. In a shortened 2016 season, he finished with nine receptions for 194 yards and two touchdowns.
On June 6, 2017, the Jets informed Decker that he would be either traded or released by the end of that week, effectively cutting ties with him. On June 12, 2017, Decker was officially released by the Jets.
On September 10, 2017, in the season opener against the Oakland Raiders, Decker had three receptions for 10 yards in his Titans debut. On September 17, in Week 2, Decker had 3 receptions for 32 yards, a kickoff return for 22 yards, and recovered an onside kick in a 37–16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. On November 5, 2017, Decker caught his only touchdown of the regular season on an 11-yard pass from Marcus Mariota in a 23–20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Decker finished the 2017 season with 54 receptions for 563 yards and a touchdown.
In the postseason, Decker caught the game-winning touchdown from Mariota in the AFC Wild Card game against the Kansas City Chiefs to win 22-21.  In the Divisional Round against the New England Patriots, he finished with six receptions for 85 yards in the 35–14 defeat.
On August 2, 2018, Decker signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots. With the move, Decker reunited with Josh McDaniels, the Patriots offensive coordinator and former head coach of the Denver Broncos.
On August 26, 2018, Decker announced his retirement from the NFL.
On June 22, 2013, Decker married country singer Jessie James. They have three children; a daughter born in March 2014, a son born in September 2015, and a second son born in March 2018.
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