Patriots Rumors: Eric Decker could be on the chopping block
Recent New England Patriots rumors involve wide receiver Eric Decker, who looks to be on the outside looking in for the 53-man roster.
New England Patriots rumors have been popping up in recent weeks as the team gets ready for the regular season. New England will have to pare their roster down to 53 players for the regular season, so jobs are on the line.
The battling at running back, between Mike Gillislee and Jeremy Hill, has been one that plenty of fans have kept their eyes on. Both veterans are hoping to lock down the short-yardage role in the Patriots offense. However, they are not the only veterans that could be without a roster spot in the coming weeks.
Wide receiver Eric Decker is also in danger of being cut from the roster. Decker was signed a few weeks ago after Jordan Matthews was released because of injury. New England presented an excellent opportunity for Decker, but he has failed to take advantage.
Decker has been struggling in training camp. He is battling drops during practice and isn’t picking up the Patriots offense. The most damning sign to Decker’s chances of making the roster came in the Patriots’ third preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.
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New England didn’t play well against the Panthers, losing 25-14. Decker did not even get onto the field with the starters, which is a red flag. Decker didn’t see a single snap with the first team offense, as he didn’t get on the field until Tom Brady was removed from the game.
When he got into the game, he did receive five targets from Brian Hoyer. However, he didn’t look great out there. He caught only two of the five targets, committing another bad drop in the process.
How poor of a performance was it? Even the Patriots team website said that Decker is far from a lock to make the roster. Zack Cox of NESN is in the same boat, as he believes it is difficult to pencil Decker into the Patriots’ 53-man roster.
While Decker is struggling, other players are taking advantage of the preseason. Cordarrelle Patterson and Riley McCarron are two of those players, as they saw the field with the first team offense against the Panthers. Chris Hogan, Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett all ran ahead of Decker, as well.
At this stage, it looks like Decker is sixth on the wide receiver depth chart, at best. Even with Edelman facing a four-game suspension to begin the season, Decker’s chances of making the roster at this point seems to be slim.
Decker will have to perform well in the upcoming week of practice to improve his chances. Starters are unlikely to play in the fourth and final preseason game, so Decker could have a chance to further improve his stock in that game.