ESPN’s Barnwell: Cardinals a fit for free agent WR Eric Decker
Jun 5, 2018, 8:43 AM | Updated: 9:46 pm
(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
The Cardinals found their second starting cornerback, refashioned their quarterback room and addressed their offensive line.
But with the exception of drafting receiver Christian Kirk in the second round, putting the pieces around Larry Fitzgerald at receiver hasn’t drawn as much optimism.
Beyond Kirk, Arizona will rely on J.J. Nelson to improve his consistency, Chad Williams to take a big step after a quiet rookie year and free agent signee Brice Butler to prove he’s a No. 2 receiver.
There are still free agents on the market, and in finding some of them new homes, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell sees a fit between the Cardinals and veteran receiver Eric Decker.
It makes sense that Decker would look up one of his former coaches from his time in Denver. Adam Gase probably isn’t a good fit given how much the Dolphins have invested at wide receiver, but a logical landing point would be with the Cardinals, who have a relatively middling wide receiver depth chart and former Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy taking over in that role. Decker might not be able to beat out Chad Williams or Christian Kirk for regular snaps, but it’s probably worth a try for Arizona.
Decker played for the Broncos from 2010-2013 and worked under first-year Arizona OC McCoy from 2010-2012. He joined the Jets from 2014-16 before landing in Tennessee last season, compiling 563 yards in 16 games played.
The 31-year-old caught just one touchdown pass in the regular season but excelled in the playoffs, hauling in a game-winning touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first playoff game before hauling in six catches for 85 yards in a loss to the divisional game loss to the New England Patriots.
Decker has three 1,000-yard seasons in his resume, including a 2012 season that saw him haul in a career-high 13 touchdowns.
Even an underwhelming 2017 compares favorably with the Cardinals’ other options: Nelson’s career-high of 568 receiving yards set in 2016 is best among the other receivers on Arizona’s roster.