The argument that Eric Decker is not a #1 Receiver is in my opinion meaningless. If you look at the history of the NFL having a bona fide, so called #1 is actually counterproductive. What actually works is having a complete Wide Receiving Corp. Ask yourself just how many rings does Randy Moss, TO, Fitz, Calvin Johnson, etc. have? The answer is ZERO. What is more important is you have depth of average to above average players at that position. Just look at the 2014 Seahawks, the Steelers who won two super bowls in the last ten years, or even the Pats who never won a super bowl with either Moss or Welker but won with Patton and Givens.
I would argue that a number 1 is a construct by the media and the agents representing their clients. The number 1 receiver label looks great on sportscenter highlights, and I’m sure this label is great for agents to pump more money into their clients salaries, and sounds great by sports writers talking these guys up. Yet, looking into history it doesn’t help you win the big game. Instead, it hamstrings your team by pushing up the cap number. The Lions are a great example. They absolutely are an incomplete football team and in 2013 they spent 16 mil for Johnson which completely limits their overall depth. Think about that? You essentially could have 2 solid receivers for that kind of money and have a little money left over to help your overall team. Actually, Johnson and Nate Burleson cost over 22 mil last year. In comparison, that could give you 3 players at Eric Deckers level and a promising young player which I would take all day.
What is really required is balance and depth. Having 3 to 4 quality receiver’s with different things they excel at puts you in much better position than having 1 great receiver and a huge drop off in depth. I think Idzik understands this and is really staying the course which is great and exactly what is required to build steady growth. Below is a list showing the last 10 super bowls top WR’s by statistics and it shows that you need at least 2 solid receiver’s (more than 2 is even better) not a so called #1 reciever. If we erase the #1 Receiver out of our lexicon and focus on a QUALITY WR CORP we can expect to see a better team.
The top 2 WR on the last 10 Super Bowl Champs:
2007 Giants – Dominik Hixon, Steve Smith
2005 Steelers – Hines Ward, Antwan Randle El
There are some good receiver’s on this list, but only really 2 or 3 Hall of Famers. What becomes evident is you need depth. For instance, that 06 Colts team still had Dallas Clark on that team as an option or the 10 Packers had Jordy Nelson.
Who I don’t see on this list is a receiver being paid tons of money at the detriment of their overall team. What I do hope (and looks like it is the case) is Idzik sees this the same way.