FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- If ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth worked in the New York Jets ' personnel department, it's safe to assume they wouldn't have signed wide receiver Eric Decker as a free agent. They certainly wouldn't have given him a $15 million guarantee.
Schlereth, a guest Wednesday on ESPN New York 98.7, suggested the Jets overpaid for someone he described as a second-tier receiver.
"Decker, in my mind, was your fourth option in Denver, and that’s the talent I think he has," said Schlereth, himself a former member of the Denver Broncos. "I think he’s a marginal No. 2 at best. ... New York will go crazy watching him be covered one-on-one and incomplete passes, throwing his arms up, begging for flags."
Schlereth also said, "I'm telling you, New York, get ready, begging for flags like, 'I was interfered with; that’s the only reason I didn't catch that ball' every play and then tripping over his own feet. Going for a big play and, all of a sudden, the turf monster gets him, bam, sniper, down. It will drive you crazy. It will absolutely drive you crazy."
He predicted Decker will catch 40 to 50 passes. That, of course, would be a major disappointment.
To be fair, the Jets never have billed Decker as a true No. 1 receiver, although it's obvious they perceive him as the best receiver on the team.