There is no telling how much, if any, interest the Minnesota Vikings placed in Minnesota-born wide receiver Eric Decker, but the point became moot Sunday night when the Tennessee Titans announced that they had signed Decker.
It is only a one-year deal, but the clear implication was that the Titans were willing to step up to make the 30-year-old receiver the newest member of their franchise.
The native of Cold Spring, Minn., has played at an elite level for the Broncos and Jets, but, at age 30 and coming off a significant injury, there were some questions as to how many teams would step up and potentially get in a bidding war for the unexpected free agent wide receiver.
There had initially been little in the way of speculation that the Vikings would have an interest in signing Decker when he and linebacker David Harris were surprise cuts by the Jets. The Vikings had a solid core of receivers already in place before they added Michael Floyd in free agency. But, when the news broke last week that Floyd had been cited for failing the alcohol testing that was required following his DUI arrest in Arizona late last year, there was a lot of outside speculation that the Vikings might ramp up their interest in Decker.
There has been no discussion yet as to if or how long Floyd might face a league suspension – from the initial incident last year or the failed tests last weekend.
When the results of the failed tests were made public last Friday, it threw a lot of things into question for the roster. Despite having a pair of young, established starters in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, their 2016 first-round pick Laquon Treadwell and veteran receiver Jarius Wright under contract, healthy and ready to go, the addition of Floyd seemed to make the unit only stronger, even if he isn’t available at the beginning of the season.
The addition of Decker likely would have made an impact on the roster, but the Vikings seem content with the crew they’re running with, who, with the exception of Floyd, already had experience in Pat Shurmur’s offense. If anything, it would have created more competition for the guys trying to make the roster on the back end as the fifth or possibly sixth wide receiver on the roster.
The buzz surrounding Decker was that the Vikings’ interest was tepid at best and, despite the outside impression that making a run at him simply because he is from Minnesota, didn’t necessarily mean that there was any interest on Decker’s side to come to a team where he would be competing for playing time.
In Tennessee, that’s not the case. Two months ago, Rishard Matthews was the No. 1 wide receiver in Tennessee. Now they not only have prized rookie Corey Davis, they have Decker.
Some Vikings fans will likely be upset that Decker didn’t end up back in Minnesota, but the reality of the situation was that, whether the Floyd incident happened or not, Minnesota more than likely – and sources within the family confirmed such – wasn’t a landing spot of interest for Decker or a player the Vikings were going to go out of their way to pay big to bring in.