When wide receiver Eric Decker retired from the NFL following the 2017 season, there were questions about what he would do to keep himself busy. Would he join a commentary team on ESPN or NFL Network? The answer, as it turns out, is that he would be spending a lot more time with his family.
Since his retirement, Decker has been seen with his wife, Jessie James Decker, at the CMT Awards and other events. After all, she is a country singer and reality star. He has also been spending time with the couple's three children, daughter Vivianne, 5, and sons Eric Jr., 3, and Forrest, 1.
With Decker being seen in the public eye for country music events, as well as a reality show, there are inevitable questions about his previous career. There are potentially many fans of the celebrity couple that aren't entirely aware of his lengthy career and appearances in the playoffs.
Decker didn't make as many headlines during his career as fellow peers such as Odell Beckham Jr. or Antonio Brown, but he developed a penchant for big plays. Specifically, he was responsible for some critical touchdowns during the postseason.
(Photo Credit: John Lamparski/Getty)
Heading into the 2010 NFL Draft, there were doubts about Eric Decker's ability to separate from defenders and a potential lack of "top-end speed." His NFL Scouting Combine Profile even said that his big-play potential could be limited by this lack of speed.
Undeterred, the Denver Broncos felt that Decker was perfect for their offense. The team selected him with a third-round pick during the 2010 NFL Draft. He was the second receiver taken in this class, along with first-round pick Demaryius Thomas.
Marcus Mariota 👉 Eric Decker = @Titans TDJanuary 7, 2018
While Eric Decker is mostly remembered for his stints with the New York Jets and the Denver Broncos, he also spent one season with the Tennessee Titans. During his final year in the NFL, Decker appeared in all 16 games, tallying 563 receiving yards and one touchdown. 31 of his receptions also resulted in first downs.
However, one of his biggest moments came during a Wild Card victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Facing an 18-point deficit, the Titans mounted a comeback to steal the playoff victory. Decker's touchdown in the fourth quarter gave the Titans the lead with six minutes remaining in regulation.
While Eric Decker started his career in Denver with Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton as the quarterbacks, he later spent time with a future Hall of Famer. Peyton Manning joined the Broncos after a season away from football and led the team to two Super Bowl appearances. Although Decker was only around for one.
During the 2013 season, the former third-round pick was a reliable figure for Manning. He registered a career-high 1,288 receiving yards and scored 11 touchdowns. This offense flourished with both Decker and Demaryius Thomas catching passes from Manning.
#OnThisDay 6️⃣years ago
And Percy Harvin with the kickoff 8️⃣7️⃣ yards to the house 🚀 pic.twitter.com/ZiGfBHiM2h— NFL UK (@NFLUK) February 2, 2019
While the Denver Broncos had one of the most productive offenses in the entire NFL during the 2013 season, it struggled mightily during Super Bowl XLVIII. Peyton Manning, Eric Decker, and Demaryius Thomas were held in check while the Broncos defense struggled to contain the Seahawks offense.
One of the low moments for this entire Broncos team came when Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin returned the opening kick of the second half for a touchdown. This left little doubt that the Broncos would be heading home without a victory. For Decker, this loss brought his Denver tenure to an end as he landed with the Jets following the season.
While Eric Decker was best known for his big plays during his tenure with the Jets and Broncos, there was one thing that was always more important to him than statistics. Family plays a massive role in Decker's life, which he proved throughout his NFL career.
One example of this is a press conference he held during Organized Team Activities. Decker answered multiple questions from reporters while holding his infant child. As expected, the child was also asked some questions, but these were left unanswered.
31-year-old WR Eric Decker has announced his retirement via Instagram. Decker caught 439 receptions for 5,816 yards and 53 touchdowns in his career with the #Broncos, #Jets, and #Titans. He earned $29,321,843 from #NFL contracts in 8 seasons. #Football pic.twitter.com/khWUPclEbv— Cash Flow Sports (@cashflowsports1) August 26, 2018
Facing off with the New England Patriots in week 16, the New York Jets needed a victory to take care of business and set the stage for a potential playoff appearance. The Pittsburgh Steelers losing earlier in the day had given Gang Green a headstart on securing a playoff berth, but they had to respond with a big game of their own.
With the game tied at 20 in overtime, the Jets marched down the field against the rival New England Patriots. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Decker capped off the drive with a touchdown, giving the Jets the win and the possibility of securing a spot in the playoffs.
Entering the 2016 season, Eric Decker was expected to be a trusted figure in the Jets offense. With Brandon Marshall as his sidekick, there were massive expectations for this offense, but this didn't pan out as expected. The Jets fell to 5-11 on the season.
Decker, on the other hand, only tallied 194 yards and two touchdowns. He suffered a season-ending injury after only three games. He was placed on Injured Reserve due to a hip injury, as well as a partial tear in his right rotator cuff.