The Baltimore Ravens are in need of a wide receiver, and the New York Jets seem to be interested in dealing them Eric Decker.
News came out recently that the Jets wanted to part ways with Decker one way or the other, whether it was through a trade or by releasing him. Naturally, the Jets would prefer to get something for Decker rather than nothing, so they’re shopping him around.
But now, if the Ravens don’t get a deal done with Maclin, Decker presents an interesting option. First, he’s much cheaper than Maclin, whether as a free agent signing or through a trade.
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If the Ravens trade for him, it’s likely they won’t have to trade much more than a low draft pick and a bench player, and if they sign him in free agency, he won’t cost much, which suits the team’s exceptionally small cap space.
Decker somewhat fits the mold of the veteran receivers the Ravens have had in the past, including Steve Smith, Anquan Boldin, and Derrick Mason. Decker is a solid possession receiver with a nose for the endzone, something the Ravens could use to balance out the speedy, big-play talents of Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman.
Decker’s skills could conceivably balance the team a bit more than Maclin’s would, and at a lower price. That’s not to say that Maclin isn’t a receiver worth having, he certainly is, but his game is more focused on screens and deep passes, a skill set the Ravens already have (albeit to a lesser extent) in Wallace and Perriman.
Last season, Decker only played in three games as he was out much of the year after having shoulder surgery. However, in his last full year in the NFL, Decker caught 80 balls for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns.
In fact, between 2012 and 2015, Decker only had less than 1,000 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns once, in 2014 on a Jets offense that ranked 27th in passing yards.
Trading for or signing Decker makes a lot of sense for the Baltimore Ravens, both strategically and financially.