Eric Decker made sure he did his homework on Geno Smith and the Jets.
And by the time his Wednesday visit and subsequent dinner with Rex Ryan & Co. had ended, the free-agent wide receiver felt at ease with the Jets – and Smith.
“I did research. I didn’t go into our meeting today blind,” Decker told the Denver Post, following his dinner with the Jets.
The top free-agent receiver reportedly agreed to a five-year, $36.25-million deal with the Jets that includes $15 million.
“When you go from a Hall of Fame quarterback, no one else, no matter who it is, can be on the same level,” said the former Bronco, who spent two seasons playing with Peyton Manning. “Talking to the offensive coordinator Marty (Mornhinweg), who has had a good track record in San Francisco and Philadelphia, he really believes in this kid.”
Decker noted Smith’s early struggles as a rookie in 2013, but also highlight the quarterback’s improved play as the season went on.
“When you look at the statistics, yeah he got off to a slow start, but he was hurt early on and he finished the season strong,” he said of Smith, who helped lead the Jets to an 8-8 record. “He improved all season long in a tough market. That’s pretty impressive.”
Another interesting nugget from the story: Decker, who spent four seasons in Denver, said the Broncos never offered him a deal. It’s not all that surprising, though. The writing was on the wall the minute the Broncos re-signed receiver Andre Caldwell.
“I’m very thankful for my four years in Denver,” said Decker, whose wife, pop and country singer Jessie James, is expecting a baby girl any day now. “I think it’s one of the greatest cities to play in. Unfortunately, I never got an offer from the Broncos.
“Denver will always be a part of me but I’m excited about New York being my new community and starting a new chapter in my life. On top of all that, my wife’s expecting our baby any second.”