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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.


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"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.

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