Veteran wide receiver Eric Decker announced on Sunday that he is retiring after eight NFL seasons. Decker made the announcement via his Instagram page, where he said, "It has been my childhood dream and my passion to play the game of football. I was very fortunate and blessed to have had the opportunity to have those dreams fulfilled and to have played with such extremely talented and hard-working teammates, coaches and staff."
Decker signed earlier this offseason with the New England Patriots, who had a need at wide receiver, but decided to retire instead of continue playing. He had spent the previous seasons with the Tennessee Titans, which followed a three-year stint with the Jets and the four-year start to his career with the Denver Broncos.
In Denver, Decker was a major part of one of the NFL's most prolific passing attacks, as he teamed with Demaryius Thomas to give Peyton Manning one of the top one-two punches at wide receiver in the league. Decker caught 172 passes for 2,352 yards and 22 touchdowns during his two seasons playing with Manning, and he turned that performance into a contract offer from the Jets. His play slipped slightly in 2014 and 2015 before he played just three games during the 2016 season and the Jets cut him the following offseason. Decker then played a minimal role in Tennessee's offense last year and struggled with drops along the way.
He ends his career with 439 catches for 5,816 yards and 53 touchdowns, figures which rank 28th, 28th, and 11th in the NFL, respectively, since he entered the league back in 2010.