Eric Decker is a free agent. After failing to work out a trade, the Jets released the wide receiver Monday, a day before the start of their three-day mandatory minicamp.
The Jets will save $7.25 million in salary-cap space, and Decker, 30, is free to sign with any team he chooses.
“I want to thank Eric Decker for his contributions to the New York Jets over the past three seasons,” owner Woody Johnson said in a statement. “While with us, he was a competitive, productive and dependable receiver who represented the team well both on and off the field. On behalf of the organization, I wish him the best as he continues his career.”
Six days earlier, general manager Mike Maccagnan confirmed that Decker’s departure was imminent. During a sit-down meeting with reporters, Maccagnan said he planned to cut him if a trade could not be worked out. “You never know how this is going to unfold,” he said last Tuesday. “Sometimes trades happen after word gets out.”
But those trade talks eventually fell through. According to ESPN, the Jets were willing to eat some of Decker’s salary, but not enough to facilitate a deal.
On the same day Maccagnan voiced his plan to move on from Decker, the Jets released linebacker David Harris, 33, who spent 10 seasons with them. That leaves only four players on the roster over age 30: quarterback Josh McCown, running back Matt Forte, defensive lineman Steve McLendon and long snapper Tanner Purdum.
With Decker gone, the Jets’ receiving corps is composed of mostly youngsters, including Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Charone Peake, Jalin Marshall and draft picks ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen.
The Ravens, who signed free-agent receiver Jeremy Maclin on Monday, reportedly are interested in adding Decker.
Decker had 163 catches for 2,183 yards and 19 touchdowns in three seasons with the Jets. His 10 red-zone touchdowns in 2015 set a Jets single-season record. His 2016 season was cut short after three games because of a torn rotator cuff. After being placed on injured reserve, he had surgery to repair his shoulder and a labral tear and lesion in his left hip, sources told Newsday last season.
He tweeted last week: “Thank you @nyjets for the opportunity the last 3 years! I truly made some great memories and friendships that will last forever!”
A third-round pick of the Broncos in 2010, he has amassed 385 receptions, 5,253 receiving yards and 74 touchdowns in his seven-year career.