Eric Decker must be released in 2017
By Michael Pallas
The New York Jets are young, but they need to cut Eric Decker to continue their push towards getting younger at wide receiver.
The New York Jets drafted two wide receivers and signed two more as free agents. Wide receiver Eric Decker is, unfortunately, coming off of two surgeries, and the writing appears to be on the wall.
According to Rich Cimini via ESPN Stats and Information, the Jets led the league in four wide receiver formations in 2016.
The Jets’ receivers played a total of 3,072 offensive snaps last season, according to ESPN Stats & Information, and that includes 864 from the departed Brandon Marshall. I suspect the 2017 total will dip under 3,000 because Morton probably won’t use as many four-wide packages as Chan Gailey, whose offense led the league in four-wide usage.
If Morton won’t use as many four wider receiver sets, then maybe it’s time for Decker to be cut. It’s both from a usage standpoint (robbing playing time from the young players) and financial.
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According to Spotrac, the Jets can save $7.25M this year and $7.5M next year. They currently are also over the cap.
The Jets are already stuck with Sheldon Richardson this season, and they shouldn’t make the same mistake they did in 2015. It’s a different scenario than 2015 because it’s injury and not off the field. With that said, it’s very similar.
The difference is, the Jets aren’t stuck with Decker’s contract. They won’t be stuck with a huge dead cap number for 2017-18 if they cut him.
The Jets also could use the cap space to sign their draft picks. If you include the unsigned draft picks, the Jets are $9.6M over the cap.
It’s about time that the Jets adapt the philosophy that it’s better to get rid of a player one year too early, rather than one year too late. Unfortunately for Decker, he has to be the face of that new philosophy.