Eric Decker

Eric Decker

refer to caption

Decker with the Jets in 2016
No. 87New York Jets
Position: Wide receiver
Personal information
Birth name: Eric Thomas Decker
Date of birth: (1987-03-15) March 15, 1987
Place of birth: Cold Spring, Minnesota
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 214 lb (97 kg)
Career information
High school: Cold Spring (MN) Rocori
College: Minnesota
NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 3 / Pick: 87
Career history
Roster status: Injured reserve
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 5, 2016
Receptions: 385
Receiving yards: 5,253
Receiving TDs: 52
Player stats at

Eric Thomas Decker[1] (born March 15, 1987) is an American football wide receiver for the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL).[2] Decker was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the third round, 87th overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft. He played college football and college baseball at the University of Minnesota, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing.

Early years

Decker attended Rocori High School in Cold Spring, Minnesota. He was present in school when the Rocori High School shooting took place, hiding in a cupboard with other students until they were rescued by police officers.[3][4] At school he was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. In each sport he was awarded all-conference, all-area and all-section honors. Additionally, he was named football team MVP two years in a row. During his prep football career he had 2,156 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns.[5]

College career

Decker attended the University of Minnesota.

Decker finished his junior season in 2008 with 84 catches for 1,074 yards and seven touchdowns.[6] He either sat out or played with leg injuries in several games.[7]

In early spring 2009, Decker met with Thomas Goudy, a wide-out coach in St. Louis, Missouri. Goudy helped Decker with his ball-holding technique. Decker spent three weeks in his training camp before starting the summer conditioning camp. Decker began the season with the consistent play that had been a hallmark of his Gophers' career. Through three games, Decker was sixth in the nation in receiving yards, averaging 124.8 per game. Sports Illustrated columnist Stewart Mandel declared Decker the third-best wide receiver in college football, behind Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant and Georgia's A. J. Green.[8] On October 27, 2009, it was announced that Decker would miss the rest of the season after suffering a sprained foot against Ohio State.[9] Decker was also teammates with Minnesota Vikings cornerback Marcus Sherels.

Decker played outfield for the Minnesota baseball team. He was selected in the 39th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers and the 27th round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft by the Minnesota Twins.[10]

Professional career

Decker’s senior season was cut short due to surgery he underwent to repair torn ligaments in his left foot. As a result, he was unable to participate in both the NFL combine and Minnesota’s pro day workout. He scored a 43 on the Wonderlic test at the combine, the top score for the group of prospects who took the test in Indianapolis.[11]

Denver Broncos

Decker in September 2010

2010 season

Decker was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the third round (87th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. He signed a four year contract through 2013 worth $2,522,000. Because of a foot surgery, Decker sat out the Broncos rookie mini-camp and OTA's. Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels said he hoped he'd be ready by the season's opener, “At this point we’re going to err on the side of being real careful and not put them in a situation where (it’s) the last day of minicamp on June 13th and all of a sudden we have a foot injury," [12] said McDaniels."Hopefully everybody will be ready by August.”

On July 27, 2010, the Denver Broncos signed Decker to a 4-year contract.[13] In the preseason, Decker led all NFL rookies in receptions, but due to the Broncos' depth at receiver, Decker didn't see much action in the offense until late in the regular season. He did contribute on special teams however, recording seven special teams tackles while returning 17 kickoffs for 429 yards giving him a 25.2 yards per return average.

Toward the end of the 2010 season, the Broncos did start to mix Decker into the offense more, after fellow rookie Demaryius Thomas (a first round draft pick) went down with an injury.[14] Decker finished his rookie season with 6 catches that went for 106 yards and one touchdown—a six-yard score off a Tim Tebow pass.

2011 season

Decker's role in Denver's offense expanded in 2011. In a Week 1 Monday Night Football loss to the Oakland Raiders, Decker returned a fourth quarter punt 90 yards for a touchdown, but the Broncos lost 23-20.

In Week 2, making his first career start, Decker hauled in 5 passes for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns, the second on a 52-yard catch in the 4th quarter as Denver recorded their first win of the 2011 season, 24-22 over the Cincinnati Bengals. On September 25, in Denver's Week 3 17-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Decker had a career high 7 catches for 48 yards. Over the next 4 weeks, Decker continued his steady play by hauling in 18 passes for 192 yards and 4 touchdowns.

On November 13, in a Week 10 divisional road game at Arrowhead Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs, starting quarterback Tim Tebow attempted a pair of deep passes for Decker, the first almost being hauled in off a deflection and the other being knocked down by the defender. But in the 4th quarter, with Denver hanging on to a slim 10-7 lead, Tebow hit Decker on a go route deep for a 56-yard touchdown catch, Decker's only catch of the game and only Tebow's 2nd completion, as the Broncos won 17-10 to move into a second place tie in the AFC West with the San Diego Chargers and Chiefs. In the first round of the playoffs against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Decker was taken out of the game due to injury.

2012 season

Heading into the 2012 regular season, Decker seemed primed to have a productive year with quarterback Peyton Manning now running Denver's offense. On May 12, Denver Broncos' offensive coordinator Mike McCoy noted that Decker and fellow receiver Demaryius Thomas are "like two little kids in a candy shop right now," when asked about the receivers eagerness to work with Manning.[15] In April, Decker attended a Colorado Rockies' baseball game with Manning[16] and began workouts with him prior to training camp.

Decker had a breakout season in 2012. He had 85 catches for 1,064 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was number 20 in the league in terms of yards for WRs and the 13 touchdowns was the second most among WRs in the 2012 season.

2013 season

In week 13, Decker had a career day against the Kansas City Chiefs with 8 catches for 174 yards and team record tying 4 touchdowns, which earned him the AFC Offensive Player of the Week award. Overall, Decker had 87 receptions for 1,288 yards, both career highs, and 11 touchdowns. The Broncos reached Super Bowl XLVIII, but lost 43-8 to the Seattle Seahawks. Decker was held to 1 reception for 6 yards in the Super Bowl due to tight coverage of Seahawks defensive backs.

New York Jets

Eric Decker in 2015.

2014 season

Decker signed a five-year $36.25 million contract with the New York Jets on March 12, 2014.[17] During this season he scored 5 touchdown receptions. In week 17, Decker was targeted 11 times in Sunday’s season-ending 37-24 victory against the Miami Dolphins and came up with 10 receptions for a career-high 221 yards and one touchdown. His 10 catches tied a career high.

2015 season

In the 2015 season, Decker had his best season as a Jet yet, with 12 touchdowns and over 1000 receiving yards. He and Brandon Marshall broke the NFL record for most touchdowns by a receiving tandem with 26 total receiving touchdowns between both of them. (Previously held by Cris Carter and Randy Moss.)


On September 16, 2016, Decker was fined $9,115 for a late hit he made on Josh Shaw on opening day against the Cincinnati Bengals.[18]

On October 12, 2016, the Jets placed Decker on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury.[19]

Career statistics

2010 DEN 14 6 8 106 17.7 38 1 1 1
2011 DEN 16 44 95 612 13.9 56T 8 1 1
2012 DEN 16 85 123 1,064 12.5 55 13 0 0
2013 DEN 16 87 137 1,288 14.8 61 11 2 1
2014 NYJ 15 74 115 962 13.0 74T 5 0 0
2015 NYJ 15 80 131 1,027 12.8 35 12 1 1
Total 92 376 593 5,059 13.5 74T 50 5 4


Career awards and highlights

Personal life

On June 22, 2013, Decker married country singer Jessie James.[21][22] They have two children, a daughter, Vivianne Rose Decker, born in March 2014[23] and a son, Eric Thomas Decker II, born September 3, 2015.[24]


  1. "ESPN Profile". Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  2. Roster. New York Jets (January 2, 2015). Retrieved on 2015-11-30.
  3. Kussoy, Howie (January 25, 2014). "Broncos' Decker a local icon since weathering school shooting". Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  4. Roberts, Michael. "Video: Broncos' Eric Decker on living through school shooting, helping Aurora theater survivor". Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  5. "Eric Decker". Denver Broncos. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  6. Fuller, Marcus R. (November 18, 2008) "Minnesota Gophers football receiver Eric Decker says he'll 'tolerate' any pain to play against Iowa" Saint Paul Pioneer Press
  7. Youngblood, Kent (November 19, 2008) "Decker doing all he can to overcome ankle injury" Star Tribune
  8. Mandel, Steart (September 30, 2009). "Boise's title-game worth, more mailbag (cont.)". CNN.
  9. "U's Decker out for rest of regular season". October 27, 2009.
  10. "The Official Website of Decker #87". April 28, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  11. "Minnesota's Decker scores a 43 on the Wonderlic". National Football Post. March 16, 2010. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  12. Archived June 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. "Decker Signs with Broncos". July 27, 2010. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  14. "Denver Broncos vs. New York Jets Injury Report". October 15, 2010. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  15. Gray Caldwell (May 12, 2012). "Notebook: Building with Manning". Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  16. "Broncos' Eric Decker quite the baseball player". April 30, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  17. Cimini, Rich (March 12, 2014). "Jets agree with WR Eric Decker". ESPN New York. Archived from the original on March 12, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  18. Vacchiano, Ralph. "Decker fined for unnecessary roughness penalty against Bengals". SNY. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  19. Allen, Eric (October 12, 2016). "Jets Place WR Eric Decker on Injured Reserve".
  20. "Eric Decker Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  21. "Jessie James dating Eric Decker; Logan Morrison's LoMoHawk: Hot Clicks". CNN .com. September 22, 2011. Archived from the original on November 9, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  22. "North | FOX Sports". Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  23. "Eric Decker and Jessie James Decker Welcome Baby Girl Vivianne Rose!". March 18, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  24. Leon, Anya (September 4, 2015). "Eric and Jessie James Decker Welcome Son Eric Thomas II". People. Retrieved September 6, 2015.

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