It’s as if it’s 2012 again in Oakland, with Eric Decker coming in to visit the Raiders.
Jon Gruden’s return as Raiders head coach has brought great buzz to Oakland, and running back Doug Martin and wide receiver Jordy Nelson have been two notable veteran additions on the offensive side this offseason. Another guy who has high-level production in his past is on the radar this week, with Eric Decker reportedly visiting the Raiders on Tuesday.
An initial report, instantly refuted by head coach Sean Payton and local reporters, said Decker was going to visit the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday. But he has pivoted quickly, if that visit was on the schedule but fell through for some reason
Decker spent last season with the Tennessee Titans, with 54 receptions for 563 yards and one touchdown while playing all 16 games. He was limited to three games by a shoulder injury in 2016 with the New York Jets, and he also underwent hip surgery after that season.
Decker had a nice 2015 campaign with the Jets (80 catches for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns). That was the third time in four seasons he had at least 80 receptions with over 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns, including his final two seasons with the Denver Broncos (2012-2013) when Peyton Manning was his quarterback.
Gruden seems intent on building a group of offensive skill position players who were at their best basically five years ago, with some combination of injuries and diminishing returns since. Decker may come very cheaply at his point, but less-accomplished (and younger) wide receivers have gotten pretty nice contracts in free agency.
The Raiders essentially swapped out Michael Crabtree for Nelson last week as their No. 2 wide receiver. But Decker would be an upgrade over Seth Roberts as the No. 3 receiver if he is brought in, and his overall skill set is close to what Crabtree brought as a reliable target and red zone option.