One week after the Jets promised to get rid of Eric Decker, the team has finally made the move. The Jets announced Monday that Decker has been released after the team was unable to find a partner willing to trade for the veteran wide receiver.
The fate of the Jets receiver had been up in the air since June 6 when Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan made it known that the 30-year-old wouldn't be returning to New York for the 2017 season.
"We advised Eric that if a trade doesn't happen, we'll move forward without him," Maccagnan said last week.
Maccagnan and the Jets spent the past week trying to trade Decker, but the team had a hard time getting rid of the receiver because no other team wanted to take on his entire 2017 base salary of $7.25 million. According to ESPN.com, other teams wanted the Jets to eat some of that salary, but the team refused, and decided to release Decker instead.
Apparently, the Ravens are trying to build an offensive arsenal for quarterback Joe Flacco. According to ESPN.com, the Ravens are still "in the running" to add Decker to their roster despite the addition of Maclin.
Baltimore won't have much cap room to work with if it wants to add Decker, but as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has pointed out, the team can be more flexible with a contract now that Decker is officially a free agent.
If/when Decker is released could create more contract flexibility for suitors like the Ravens— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) June 12, 2017
The Ravens, who lost three of their top five receivers from 2016, werethe Jets about a possible trade when Maccagnan brought up the subject of dumping Decker last week.
Adding Decker along with Maclin would go a long way toward beefing up a Ravens receiving unit that has lost Steve Smith (retirement), tight end Dennis Pitta (released after injuring his hip) and Kamar Aiken (signed with the Colts) since the end of the 2016 season.
Although they had a clear lack of depth at receiver going into the offseason, the Ravens didn't do anything to fix that problem during the draft or free agency. Apparently, doing nothing is going to work for the Ravens with Maclin and potentially Decker falling into their laps.
If the Ravens are able to land Decker, they would be getting a former third-round pick who tallied 74 or more catches for four straight seasons (2012-15) before being limited to just three games during an injury-plagued 2016 season. Over the past nine months, Decker has undergone surgery on both his hip and his shoulder. However, the 30-year-old says that he's now healthy.
Decker, who signed a five-year, $36 million deal with the Jets in March 2014, only caught nine passes in 2016, which likely made it hard for the Jets to justify his $7.25 million base salary for the upcoming season.
Before signing with the Jets before the 2014 season, Decker spent the first four years of his career in Denver.