Patriots reportedly sign Eric Decker one day after surprisingly cutting a receiver

It looks like Eric Decker is finally going to get his wish. 

During an interview back in June, the free agent wide receiver didn't hide the fact that he wanted to play for the Patriots this year, and now that's exactly what's going to happen. According to ESPN.com, Decker has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Patriots. 

The move comes less than 24 hours after the Patriots cleared a roster spot when they surprisingly cut wide receiver Jordan Matthews, who had been on the team for less than four months. The Patriots originally signed Matthews back in April as a way to add receiving depth after they traded away Brandin Cooks to the Rams. However, the team decided to cut Matthews on Wednesday after he struggled through the early stages of training camp due to a hamstring injury. 

As for Decker, the Patriots were already interested in him, even before they released Matthews. The team had him in for a workout on Monday due to the fact that they've been dealing with some serious issues at wide receiver. Not only is Julian Edelman suspended for the first four games of the season, but Malcolm Mitchell (knee) and Kenny Britt (hamstring) have both been dealing with injuries. There's even been multiple reports that the Patriots are trying to trade Mitchell

Before adding Decker, the Patriots were basically down to Chris Hogan, Philip Dorsett (acquired in training camp last year), Cordarrelle Patterson (acquired in a trade in March) and Braxton Berrios (rookie) at the receiver position.

For Decker, his deal with the Patriots will reunite him with Josh McDaniels, which is exactly what he wanted. During an interview with SiriusXM NFL radio in June, Decker hinted that he really only wanted to play for one team this year. 

"I think the Patriots would be a good fit and being drafted by Josh McDaniels in Denver," Decker said. "I talked with New England last year during the free agency process in June. That is always an option that I would definitely love to entertain."

Decker and McDaniels spent one season together in Denver (2010). McDaniels actually brought Decker in to the NFL that year when he made the receiver a third-round pick in the draft. Decker then spent four years in Denver before signing with the Jets in 2014. After three years in New York, Decker got a taste of free agency in 2017, but he didn't sign with the Patriots, even though the two sides talked. Last year, he ended up in Tennessee, where he caught 54 passes for 563 yards. 

At 31 years old, the thing that might excite Decker the most about signing with the Patriots is the fact that he'll now be playing for a contender. 

"I took a few visits and talked to some teams," Decker said in June of going through free agency this year. "At this point in my career, I want to go somewhere where I can compete for a Super Bowl and be in a good system and be with a quarterback that my skill set would be an addition to the team."

Decker's last big season came in 2015, when he caught 80 passes for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns while playing for the Jets. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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