After eight seasons in the NFL, veteran wide receiver Eric Decker has announced he’s retiring from the game. The Minnesota native caught 439 receptions for 5,816 years with 53 touchdowns throughout his career.
The 31-year-old, who played football at the University of Minnesota, was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2010. He played in Colorado for three seasons, making it to Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014, which the team lost.
Decker then played for the New York Jets for two seasons, and in 2017, he was a member of the Tennessee Titans.
On August 2, Decker signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots. However, according to ESPN, he appeared to be on the team’s roster bubble after struggling in training camp.
Sadly, on Sunday, August 26, the handsome athlete posted a typed-up letter on Instagram revealing his decision to retire.
“It has been my childhood dream and my passion to play the game of football,” he began his statement.
“I was very fortunate and blessed to have had the opportunity to have those dreams fulfilled and to have played with such extremely talented and hardworking teammates, coaches, and staff. This has been a passion inside of 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. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife and kids. I want to give a special thank you to my family, friends, and fans for all your support on this incredible journey. It’s been an amazing chapter in my life. I look forward to the future and the many adventures ahead.”
Many of Decker’s loyal fans commented on the post, congratulating him on a short but great career and wishing him luck with his future endeavors.
“Class act, great player, great career too! Happy retirement from a Jets fan,” said one his 1.2 million followers.
“Much respect!!! I wish you a great after-football life,” wrote another commenter.
“Will miss you on the field, but know you will continue to do great things,” said yet another well-wisher.
Decker has a reality TV career to fall back on. Since 2013, he has starred on the E! network’s Eric & Jessie: Game On with his wife of five years, country singer Jessie James Decker. The show focuses on their life and growing family, which also includes three precious children: 4-year-old daughter Vivianne, 2-year-old son Eric, and 4-month-old son Forrest.