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Patriots WR Eric Decker Announces Retirement From Football

A New England Patriots helmet sitting on the bench.

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: A New England Patriots helmet during the first half of the game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots' receiving corps lost some depth this afternoon. Wide receiver Eric Decker announced his retirement.

Decker signed a free agent contract with New England in the offseason after spending last year with the Tennessee Titans. However, he struggled to break in with the Pats in preseason.

Today, Decker announced his retirement at the age of 31.

"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 played with such extremely talented and hard-working teammates, coaches and staff."

You can read Decker's full statement below:

A third-round pick of the Denver Broncos out of Minnesota in 2010, Decker played eight seasons in the NFL. For his career, he hauled in 439 receptions for 5,816 yards and 53 touchdowns.

He topped the 1,000-yard mark in 2012 and 2013 with the Broncos and 2015 with the New York Jets. However, injuries sapped Decker of much of the 2016 campaign.

He bounced back to have a 54-563-1 stat line with the Titans last fall, but now has chosen to hang his cleats up.