Just hours ahead of University of Minnesota alum Eric Decker's first appearance in the Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos, an NFL Network report says the fourth-year pro will not be re-signed by Denver before the league's free agency period begins in March.
Ian Rapoport had the first report:
Decker is in a jam-packed receiving corp that features Georgia Tech alum Demaryius Thomas, viewed as one of the top young wideouts in the game, and Wes Welker, a crafty veteran that continues to put up huge numbers year-in-year-out, having caught over 110 passes five of the past seven years.
On top of those targets, Denver quarterback Peyton Manning has always been partial to tight ends, and the Broncos sport one that has had a huge season, Julius Thomas, who will be due for a contract extension after the 2014 season.
Of course, via the NBC Sports story linked above, Denver letting Decker look at the free-agent market doesn't necessarily mean he won't be back in a Bronco uniform. Once Decker tests free agency and gathers offers, he could deem Denver his best option, monetarily and otherwise.
Manning's return in 2014 will certainly play a part in where Decker chooses to go, with the QB coming off his NFL record fifth MVP award Saturday night.
Just the first in what will likely be many stories surrounding Decker's possible Denver departure, and possible return to Minnesota.