Jim Dedmon/USA Today Sports

Wide receiver Eric Decker announces retirement from NFL in Instagram post

John Tomase
August 26, 2018 - 3:36 pm

Eric Decker's NFL career officially ended on Sunday when the wide receiver announced his retirement. He had been in camp with the Patriots, but appeared virtually certain not to make the team.

Here's what Decker wrote on Instagram:

"It has been my childhood dream and my passion to play the game of football," Decker wrote. "I was very fortunate and blessed to have had the opportunity to have those dreams fulfilled and to have played with such extremely talented and hard-working teammates, coaches, and staff. This has been a passion inside of me since I was a little boy, but I know now it is to hang my helmet up and start a new chapter in my life. I love football and always will. It will continue to be part of my life. I'm looking forward to spending more time with my wife and kids. I want to give a special thank you to my family, friends and fans for all your support on this incredible journey. It's been an amazing chapter in my life. I look forward to the future and the many adventures ahead."

The 31-year-old finishes his career with 439 catches for 5,816 yards and 53 touchdowns. He played for the Broncos, Jets, and Titans before joining the Patriots in camp, where a number of drops and a failure to crack the rotation doomed his chances of making the team.

The writing was on the wall for him after Friday's loss in Carolina. Decker didn't take a snap with the first-team offense, which meant he never caught a pass from Tom Brady in the preseason.