George Walker IV /The Tennessean via USA TODAY NETWORK

How will Eric Decker fit into Patriots offense?

Ryan Hannable
August 02, 2018 - 1:52 pm
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FOXBORO -- Tom Brady has another veteran receiver to throw to -- Eric Decker -- as the wide out reportedly has signed a one-year deal with the Patriots.

The signing comes just a day after Jordan Matthews was released and the team didn't have as much depth at the position like it seemingly did going into training camp. Malcolm Mitchell and Kenny Britt both have yet to practice and Julian Edelman will be missing the first four games due to his suspension. 

There was little doubt a move needed to be made and after being worked out earlier in the week, Decker and the Patriots came to an agreement on a deal. It's also worth noting offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels drafted Decker when he was coach of the Broncos in 2010.

"I talked with New England actually last year when I was going through the free agency process, late there in June," Decker said on Sirius XM Radio last month. "[I was] just trying to figure out what was the best direction for me, and at the time it was Tennessee. That's always an option that I would definitely love to entertain. I have not really spoken with anyone from [New England this year]. We'll see once GMs and coaches have kind of regrouped after minicamp and we'll see what the needs are going into training camp."

Decker, 31, certainly isn't the receiver he once was, but he can help the Patriots offense.

Standing 6-foot-3, 214 pounds, he is one of the bigger slot receivers in the league. Decker is almost a 1-for-1 replacement of Matthews, as he is also a big receiver who can play in the slot. It's likely that is where Decker will get the majority of his snaps.

The former Titans wide out will need to get to work quickly to pick up the offense as he obviously missed the entire spring and first week or so of training camp. He will likely be asked to contribute quite a bit in the first four weeks with Edelman out. This could have some impact on Riley McCarron/Braxton Berrios making the team, as Decker seems like a lock at this point and both McCarron and Berrios are slot receivers. Decker also has limited experience returning punts.

This is a signing that can really only help the Patriots offense.

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