Pros and Cons of Indianapolis Colts Possibly Signing WR Eric Decker
Eric Decker Contemplating a Future in Indianapolis
The major topic of conversation around the Indianapolis Colts' fan water cooler heading into free agency is Eric Decker. He likes the Colts. The Colts like him. Maybe they'll meet for coffee or something, take it kind of slow, see where things go. Meanwhile, the collective Indy fanbase seems to be simultaneously screaming yes and no.
The strange thing is, there doesn't seem to be much of a fight brewing. The consensus seems to be that Decker's the best available free agent receiver, but it almost seems like a forgone conclusion that Indianapolis has already won.
What about the Kansas City Chiefs? Have we already forgotten how undefeated they were last season? I'm sure the Broncos haven't. Or what about the New York Giants? They could uphold a long tradition of NFL players moving from one Manning brother to the other (usually from Peyton to Eli, as traditional hand-me-downs should). The Detroit Lions were whispered once, too; If that happened, then I'd be able to name two receivers on that team.
Decker is young. So far, he's proven durable. He's experienced. And everyone seems to agree he's going to be overpaid. He has a new baby daughter on the way. He's said he wants a stable, positive work environment with an opportunity to win while still "taking care of his family." If he and Indianapolis are indeed on a collision course, let's sort out the pros and cons of such a partnership. I, for one, am still on the fence.
8. Pro: Associated with Peyton Manning
Decker played with Peyton Manning for the past two years, so that means Colts fans are well familiar with his work. He's a known quantity, plus, in a land where the Manning name is still revered, Decker might be seen as having some sort of shiny aura about him. Like a Peyton blessing, or Peyton anointing. Manning trained, Manning approved.
Decker also played with Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow, so we know he has experience with a wide variety of quarterbacking styles. Just imagine him in a job interview: "Tell us about a time when you had to adapt to a difficult work situation."
7. Con: Let Him Stay with Manning
But if Peyton really liked him, Peyton would lobby hard to keep him. Some analysts say that Decker's hands aren't as reliable as they should be. It's well known and documented that Peyton likes stability, and stability is good for winning. Peyton has put a lot of time and effort into his receivers, and I'm sure he'll start this season with the afterburners on full blast. If he's okay doing that without Decker, maybe that's a red flag, especially if the Chiefs (in the same division) are also rumored to be interested in signing him.
6. Pro: Played in Super Bowl
Decker knows what it takes to get to a Super Bowl, and that sort of veteran experience (especially when paired with Reggie Wayne, who has also been there before) could add value on and off the field. Knowing how that Super Bowl ended, I have no doubt that Decker (and every member of the 2013 Denver Broncos) will be eager to get back and redeem themselves.
5. Con: Super Bowl Loser's Curse is Real
The Super Bowl loser's curse is real. I fear it, and the longer it takes to rear its ugly head, the worse it gets. The San Francisco 49ers lost and seemed to escape unscathed; next thing you know, rampant Jim Harbaugh rumors and gracious only knows where that will go. Remember when the Colts lost to the New Orleans Saints? That didn't seem so bad at first, but then four neck surgeries happened. I don't know if the Super Bowl loser's curse is confined to the losing team or if it can haunt an individual player (more research is needed). But if the curse lingers like poor Darrius Heyward-Bey's Oakland Raiders' stench, then I don't want any part of it.
4. Pro: Decker Reportedly Wants to Be in Indy
Colts fans love it when a player wants to be a part of their team and represent their community. Just saying that he wants to be there will go a long way in terms of his popularity with the average fan.
3. Con: Well, How Much Does He Want It?
The main concern with Decker seems to be that he'll ask for more money than most experts say he's worth. Player contracts are not so much a matter of what a player is worth, but what he's able to negotiate. If the Colts are the primary suitor and no better offer comes in, this may not be an issue. And Blue, the Colts' mascot, might actually be a unicorn.
If Decker truly wants to be in Indianapolis he might have to compromise on money, but he'll definitely have to compromise on jersey number. The No. 87 jersey is already spoken for, and Reggie Wayne is not giving it up.
2. Pro: Decker Seems Like Exactly the Sort of Player Colts Fans Love
Colts fans are used to seeing good receivers make big catches. They were also just treated to a playoff season in which Andrew Luck learned his receivers often have trouble catching the ball if it hits them in the hands. Decker has a good resume. He's a Big Ten guy (and he'd be returning to the heart of Big Ten country, even if he would be surrounded by Stanford men). As good as Decker's numbers were in Denver, there's a chance that playing inside Lucas Oil Stadium might work in his favor. And, obviously, one hopes that going from Manning to Luck isn't much of a downgrade.
1. Con: Colts Fans Will Inevitably Take Him Too Early in Fantasy Drafts
Last year, all I wanted in the world was to have T.Y. Hilton on my fantasy team. I even named my fantasy team after him. Of course, he was snatched up too soon because well-known Colts receivers always go too soon. After all this offseason buzz, Decker will be no different. I just hope these fantasy expectations don't collide with the Super Bowl loser's curse and unravel the very fabric of the universe.