|Full Name||Eric Thomas Decker|
|Birthday||March 15, 1987|
|Net Worth||$12 Million|
As a long-time fan who has followed Eric Decker‘s football career closely, I‘m excited to provide a comprehensive introduction to this talented former NFL wide receiver.
Eric Thomas Decker is a retired American football player who spent 8 successful seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He is best known for his time with the Denver Broncos and New York Jets. A dynamic wide receiver blessed with size, speed and incredible hands, Decker was a major receiving threat who earned recognition as one of the better wideouts of his era.
Early Life and College Football Career
Born on March 15, 1987 in Cold Spring, Minnesota, Decker showed athletic promise from a young age. He was a standout multi-sport athlete at Rocori High School, excelling in football, baseball and basketball. In football, he compiled astonishing receiving stats – 2,156 yards and 28 touchdowns – over his prep career. He was named Minnesota Player of the Year by USA Today in 2005.
Decker went on to attend the University of Minnesota, where he continued to dominate on the football field for the Golden Gophers. He finished his collegiate career with school records of 227 receptions for 3,119 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns. His junior year was particularly impressive, with 84 catches for 1,074 yards and 7 touchdowns. He was named First-team All-Big Ten in 2008 and 2009.
As a lifelong fan of Gophers football, watching Decker play was a treat. He clearly stood out as a top NFL prospect, torching defenses with his blend of size, speed, route running and sure hands. His record-breaking college career demonstrated his ability to produce as a #1 receiver.
The Denver Broncos selected Decker in the third round of the 2010 NFL draft. He made an immediate impact his rookie season, tallying 6 touchdowns and over 500 yards. From 2011 to 2013, Decker became one of Peyton Manning‘s top targets in the prolific Denver offense.
In 2012, Decker had a breakout year with 85 receptions, 1,064 receiving yards and an incredible 13 touchdowns. The following season was perhaps his statistical best, as he put up 87 catches for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns – ranking 10th among NFL receivers in both categories. After back-to-back 1,000+ yard seasons, Decker was selected to his first Pro Bowl in 2013.
As a fan, Decker‘s 2012 and 2013 seasons in Denver were a joy to watch. His size, athleticism and hands made him a perfect fit for Peyton Manning‘s pass-heavy offense. Seeing him put up career-best numbers and earn Pro Bowl recognition was incredibly exciting. He was an essential part of one of the most prolific passing attacks in NFL history.
In 2014, Decker signed a 5-year, $36.25 million dollar contract with the New York Jets. Hampered by injuries, Decker‘s production declined in New York but he remained a talented receiving threat when healthy. He spent the 2017 season in Tennessee before returning to the Jets in 2018 for his final NFL season.
Accomplishments and Honors
Over his 8-year career, Decker compiled 5,816 receiving yards, 53 touchdowns and 439 receptions. Some of his top NFL accomplishments and honors include:
- Appearance in Super Bowl XLVIII (2013)
- 2x Pro Bowl selection (2013, 2014)
- 10 receiving touchdowns in 2012 (Broncos franchise record for a WR)
- 87 receptions in 2013 (10th most in the NFL)
- 1,288 receiving yards in 2013 (10th most in the NFL)
For any wide receiver, these would be considered fantastic career achievements. As a fan who watched Decker from his rookie season through retirement, it was a pleasure seeing him consistently produce and earn recognition as one of the NFL‘s better receivers during his prime.
Off the Field
Off the field, Decker has maintained a fulfilling personal life. He is married to singer Jessie James Decker and they have three beautiful children together. The couple starred in the E! reality show “Eric and Jessie” from 2013 to 2017, providing a glimpse into their home life.
Through his Eric Decker Foundation, Decker carries out various charitable initiatives, with a focus on helping disadvantaged and physically disabled people. His foundation has built adaptive sports programs to improve opportunities for those with disabilities.
Decker has also pursued a number of business ventures post-retirement, including a cattle company, cigar business and a television appearance on CNBC‘s reality show “The Job." His charisma and determination from the football field have clearly carried over to other passions.
Retirement and Looking Back
After hip and shoulder injuries impacted his final NFL seasons, Decker announced his retirement in August 2018. He finished his career with over 5,800 receiving yards, 53 touchdowns and multiple 1,000-yard seasons under his belt.
Looking back on his time in the NFL, I couldn‘t be prouder of Decker‘s accomplishments. Though injuries slowed him down toward the end, he was undoubtedly one of the better receivers of his era thanks to his 6‘3" frame, 4.5 speed, incredible hands and work ethic.
In retirement, Decker continues to give back through charitable work and stays involved in the game by providing youth football camps and coaching opportunities. He remains one of my favorite players to watch and root for over the years. I‘m grateful to have witnessed the entirety of his impressive NFL career.