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Jets would be wise to keep Eric Decker in 2017

By Luis Tirado Jr.
Dec 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) spikes the ball in the end zone after catching a touchdown pass against the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) spikes the ball in the end zone after catching a touchdown pass against the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Jets have a lot of young players at wide receiver with major potential down the road. They should, however, keep Eric Decker this year in the grand scheme of things.

As the New York Jets do their best to make some big moves to add more money to their salary cap, some tough decisions lie ahead. It’s hard to find the right balance between young players that need time to blossom and veteran players that have some gas left in the tank.

General manager Mike Maccagnan will undoubtedly have his hands full this offseason as no one is safe. With a 5-11 final record in 2016, lots of changes need to happen for the Jets to bounce back come next season.

Looking at their wide receiver corps, the Jets have a plethora of talent that looks like they could develop into something special down the road. The problem, once again is, how do the Jets balance reps with young players with everything to prove and veterans that want to stick around? It would make sense for the Jets to keep at least a veteran or two around their young wide receiving corps.

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It’s unclear whether the Jets will bring back both wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, but there is also a possibility neither might return. From a football point of view, Decker is coming back from not one but two major surgeries from his hip and shoulder, respectively. There is no guarantee he’ll be the same productive player we’ve grown to love.

From a financial point of view, the Jets would save about $5.75 million if they cut him as per Over The Cap. The Jets, however, would be wise to keep Decker around since he brings much more to the table besides what he contributes on the gridiron.

All these young players on the Jets like Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, and Jalin Marshall, for example, all need the right mentors above them to succeed. It’s a huge part of their individual development and while it might make business sense to cut Marshall/Decker to save money on their salary cap, it won’t bode well on the football field where it matters most. These young players need someone to always keep them grounded and mentored towards taking their career to the next level.

Next: Breaking down remaining holes on Jets’ offensive line

Overall, the Jets would be wise to keep Decker for this kind of a role and while he’s a No. 2 wide receiver at best, would support everyone around him well. This alone is worth not making Decker a salary cap casualty this offseason.

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