New England Patriots rumors: Why Eric Decker is not a good fit for 2018

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 10: Eric Decker /

Veteran free agent wide receiver Eric Decker believes he is a good fit for the New England Patriots, but is he a good fit for 2018?

A few years ago, the New England Patriots would’ve loved a big target like Eric Decker.  But, how exactly would he fit on a team that appears deep at the wide receiver position heading into the 2018 season.

Even with the pending suspension of Julian Edelman, the Patriots have an abundance of depth at the position.  Along with veterans Chris Hogan, Kenny Britt, Jordan Matthews, Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett fighting for roster spots, third-year receiver Malcolm Mitchell is returning from injury.

Add young, hungry players like sixth-round pick Braxton Berrios, Riley McCarron and Cody Hollister to the mix and the Patriots already have a logjam at the position.  That doesn’t stop Decker from pitching his services to the team.

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Following a season in Tennessee where he caught 54 passes for 563 yards, the 31-year-old receiver knows he has something left.  What better way to prove that than playing for an organization what will contend for another Super Bowl run.

"“I took a few visits and talked to some teams,” Decker said during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday.  “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.”"

Certainly sounds like Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, but is the team interested in his services?

In the interview, he admitted he hasn’t heard anything from the Patriots since he became a free agent.  But, that doesn’t mean the team isn’t listening or even intrigued about the possibility.

Given Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel’s track record of bringing in former players he has coached, it would be no surprise if Decker was given a shot on a prove it type deal heading into training camp.  Especially given the fact that McDaniels is very familiar with Eric Decker.

"“I think it would,” Decker said regarding whether he would be a good fit.  “[The hosts] have a great point, being drafted by Josh McDaniels in Denver, playing that one season with him.  I talked with New England actually last year when I was going through the free agency process late there in June just trying to figure out what was the best direction for me.  At that time it was Tennessee.  That is always an option I would always love to entertain.”"

Why Eric Decker would not be a fit

While adding another big target veteran playmaker to Tom Brady’s arsenal is always a good thing, can Eric Decker actually catch on and be effective in 2018?

Age aside, veteran receivers on the downside of their careers haven’t fared so great in New England.  Throw aside Randy Moss, players like Chad Johnson and Reggie Wayne had a tough time adjusting to the system even with Brady at quarterback.

That doesn’t mean Decker would have the same difficulties, but with the amount of depth the Patriots already have, he may not get the reps he needs to really be a factor.  Then again, if anyone can find a way to make Decker affective at this point of his career, it would be the man who drafted him into the league.

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In all, Eric Decker would be a low cost, high reward type signing.  However, adding him would be a bit redundant with Chris Hogan providing a similar type of target and Malcolm Mitchell hopefully returning in full health.

If either of those two are injured, Decker would then be a good fit to bring in during the season if he is still available.