Eric Decker: Skipping OTAs last week not a Ryan Fitzpatrick protest
Eric Decker was back with the New York Jets on Tuesday, rejoining the team for OTAs after skipping three team practices last week.
Despite reporting to the contrary, the Jets wideout insisted that his absences were not some form of protest over the protracted stalemate between the team and free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who remains unsigned. Instead, Decker says he was vacationing with his family and that the Jets were aware of his plans.
: @EricDecker87 says Fitz situation isn’t the reason he wasn’t here last week #jets pic.twitter.com/ypP7Ee9jmV
— Kimberley A. Martin (@KMart_LI) June 1, 2016
“That’s not the reason why I wasn’t here,” Decker said per Newsday’s Kimberly A. Martin, via Pro Football Talk. “I told coach where I was and what I was doing.”
While that may in fact be the case, many pundits reasonably surmised that Decker’s failure to show up last week had something to do with the Jets failing to sign Fitzpatrick. After all, Decker and Fitzpatrick are pals and the wide receiver previously expressed hope that the Jets would sign the quarterback to a new deal. At the same time, another member of the Jets believes the writing may already be on the wall concerning Fitzpatrick heading elsewhere.
That of course has not yet come to fruition. In fact, the most recent reports suggest Fitzpatrick might be so offended by the Jets’ offers that he may be willing to sign with another NFL team for less money simply out of spite. It’s also being reported that the situation between the Jets and Fitzpatrick may get even uglier before it gets any better.
In other words, if Decker’s absence actually was some kind of pro-Fitzpatrick protest, it didn’t pay off the way he presumably hoped it would.