Decker has announced his retirement as an NFL player, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Decker signed with the Patriots earlier this month and despite an opportunity created by a thinning out of the team's wideout depth, the 31-year-old couldn't carve out a clear role with New England. Now that he's out of the mix, the Patriots could elect to sign another veteran receiver, or alternatively a roster spot could be there for the taking for one of the team's younger options.
Decker was on the field for 25 snaps in Friday's preseason loss to the Panthers, en route to catching two of his five targets for 12 yards. Decker didn't see action Friday until starting QB Tom Brady was out of the game. Despite the name recognition, Decker isn't a lock to make the Patriots' final roster heading into Week 1. With Jordan Matthews, Malcolm Mitchell and Kenny Britt no longer in the mix and Julian Edelman (suspension) set to be unavailable for the first four games of the season, Decker might end up sticking, but for now only Edelman, Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson can be considered locks to make the team
Decker was targeted twice, but did not record a catch during Thursday's 37-20 win over the Eagles. Decker has not recorded a catch yet this preseason and has reportedly failed to live up to his own expectations in camp. Still, the veteran -- despite being listed as a third-team receiver on the depth chart -- offers the kind of dependability the Pats are looking for during Julian Edelman's suspension. Decker is capable of playing multiple positions and has familiarity with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' scheme from their time together in Denver.
Decker isn't pleased with his on-field results at training camp thus far, Nicole Yang of The Boston Globe reports. Specifically, the veteran wideout has dropped some catchable balls in practice of late. Meanwhile, Decker was on the field for six offensive snaps in Thursday's preseason opener against Washington and was not targeted in the game. We'll chalk up some of Decker's current struggles to the fact that he remained unsigned until the beginning of August and was thus deprived of minicamp and OTA reps. With Julian Edelman set to serve a four-game suspension to start the season, Decker is competing for slotting (behind starting wideout Chris Hogan) with Phillip Dorsett, Kenny Britt (hamstring), Cordarrelle Patterson, Braxton Berrios and Riley McCarron.
Decker didn't draw any targets in Thursday's 26-17 preseason win over Washington, Zack Cox of NESN.com reports. Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett and Chris Hogan got most of the playing time in the first half, with the Patriots keeping their starters in for longer than expected in response to an ugly performance. The team looked better after halftime on the way to a victory, but Decker wasn't part of that equation. Signed by New England last week, the 31-year-old wideout is competing for snaps with Dorsett, Kenny Britt (hamstring), Cordarrelle Patterson, Braxton Berrios and Riley McCarron. There's a starting job up for grabs while Edelman serves a four-game suspension at the beginning of the regular season.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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