Rex Ryan: Eric Decker is New York Jets' go-to guy


The New York Jets thought enough of Eric Decker's exploits in Denver to sign the former Broncos pass-catcher to a five-year, $36.25 million contract in March.

On a roster that could see anyone from Stephen Hill to Jeremy Kerley play second fiddle at wideout, Rex Ryan is calling Decker his "go-to guy" through the air.

Watch "The Top 100 Players of 2014" every week at 9 p.m. ET on NFL Network as we count down to the top player in the NFL. "The Top 100 Players of 2014 Reactions" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.

"This is going to be a guy that you can get him the ball in critical situations," the coach said Thursday, per ESPN NewYork's Rich Cimini. "You can get him the ball in the red zone. I think you can see that. Everybody can say (his statistics) are skewed a little bit because of (Peyton) Manning, and that might be true, but I think he did catch eight touchdowns when (Tim) Tebow was quarterback. I think that's pretty impressive."

Decker, in fact, caught four scores from Mr. Tebow. He's far from a mirage at the position, but the fifth-year receiver will be hard-pressed to match his 87 catches, 1,288 yards and 11 scores from a season ago.

"I like Decker, but he's a product of the quarterback (meaning Manning)," one longtime personnel executive told Cimini. "I see him catching 40 or 50 balls for the Jets. He's not a game-breaker. That's why it made no sense (to sign him). They don't have a quarterback that can help him be that kind of player."

I'd spin it differently: Gang Green could have done more this offseason to surround presumptive starter Geno Smith with weapons through the air. The drafting of "move" tight end Jace Amaro is a plus, but squeezing Decker -- an otherwise productive player -- into a No. 1 role is likely to haunt this outfit when the games begin.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" breaks down the news and examines developments from the first week of OTAs.