New England Patriots wide receiver Eric Decker announced his retirement Sunday om Instagram, ESPN reports.
The 31-year-old, who just signed a one-year contract on Aug. 3, had reportedly been been on the bubble for a roster spot.
“It has been my childhood dream and my passion to play the game of football,” Decker wrote. “I was very fortunate and blessed to have had the opportunity to have those dreams fulfilled and to have had the opportunity to play wit such extremely talented and hard-working teammates, coaches and staff. This has been a passion inside me since I was a little boy but I know now it is time to hang my helmet up and start a new chapter in my life.”
In his comments to reporters Saturday, head coach Bill Belichick seemed to indicate that Decker had been progressing well in the New England system.
“I think Eric’s learned everything well. Again, he had a background in this system in Denver with Josh [McDaniels] and he’s played multiple positions in the offense since he’s been here. We used a couple new formations [Friday], so I don’t think learning is really a problem for him, and he has a lot of experience of some of the more sophisticated routes, option routes and things like that are all things that he’s done and it’s just really a question of getting the timing and exactly how you want to do it and seeing enough looks on it so that you and the quarterback know exactly what it is.”
But Decker had reportedly struggled at times in training camp with dropped passes and went through a tennis-ball drill before Friday’s game on the field to work on his hands. In his eight-year NFL career, Decker played for the Denver Broncos, New York Jets amnd Tennessee Titans, amassing 439 receptions for 5,816 yards and 53 touchdowns.