Eric Decker is 30 years old, he makes a fair amount of money and he's coming off a bad injury with cost him the majority of the 2016 season. He doesn't sound like the kind of player who'd expect to find on a rebuilding team, but despite all the cuts this off-season the veteran wide receiver remains.
After undergoing shoulder and hip surgeries last year, it was great to see Decker out on the practice field as OTA's got underway earlier this week, he may not be 100% healthy, but he's healthy enough to practice and he should be ready to go when training camp gets under way.
He may have only appeared in three games last year but Decker has a role to play with these upstart Jets. The year before last Decker recorded 80 receptions for 1027 yards and 12 scores, proving to be a constant thorn in the side of many NFL defences, especially in the redzone. This year the Jets will be hoping to count on the consistency of one of the teams best players, and it's that veteran leadership that counts for so much.
We can't say how much of a leader Brandon was, and I won't speculate on that. However you've never heard a rumour about Decker arguing or fighting with teammates. He plays the game hard and he plays the game fast, and from a technical standpoint, he's almost flawless in his technique. He's a reliable set of hands on the field and a reliable head off it, that's the kind of guy you want young receivers to navigate to.
Decker is the most accomplished receiver on a roster filled with rookies and 2nd year players. Robby Anderson has promise, but he still has a long way to go. We have no idea what to expect out of Hansen and Stewart and although Enunwa looks to be on his way to great things, It's important to remember that he's still only scored 4 total touchdowns. In fact, Enunwa, Anderson, Marshall and Patton have combined for 209 career receptions, Decker alone has 385. It's that experience that a young team needs.
I have to imagine that Enunwa and Decker will be the two main WR'ers for the Jets. However Decker did a lot of damage in 2015 from the slot position, in that case I can see Enunwa and Stewart as the outside receivers with Anderson and Decker inside. When you move Enunwa to the moving TE position you have so many options inside and out. Don't sleep on Patton, but having Decker as a safe pair of hands for what I hope is a Hackenberg led team is extremely valuable.