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Eric Decker Announces Retirement From NFL Weeks After Joining New England Patriots

Eric Decker is hanging up his spikes. The veteran wide receiver announced his retirement from the NFL on Sunday, August 26.

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“It has been my childhood dream and my passion to play the game of football,” Decker, 31, wrote in a statement shared on his Instagram account. “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. 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.”

Eric Decker Retiring New England Patriots
New England Patriots wide receiver Eric Decker runs for a pass during a drill at training camp at the Gillette Stadium practice facility in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on August 7, 2018. John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

He continued, “I love football and always will. It will continue to be a part of 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!”

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The news came just three weeks after the athlete signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots. He played for the Denver Broncos, New York Jets and Tennessee Titans during his eight-season career. He caught 439 receptions for 5,816 yards with 53 touchdowns since entering the league in 2010.

Eric Decker Jessie James Decker
Eric Decker and Jessie James Decker attend the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards at Toshiba Plaza in Las Vegas on April 2, 2017. John Shearer/

Decker and his wife, Jessie James Decker, welcomed a son named Forrest in March. The Eric & Jessie stars, who wed in June 2013, also share daughter Vivianne, 4, and son Eric Jr., 2.

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The country singer, 30, shared a sweet photo on Instagram on August 15 of herself and her husband hanging out with their three children on the football field. She captioned the shot, “Family is football.”

Jessie has not yet spoken out about Eric’s retirement, but she is likely looking forward to spending even more time together. In October 2017, she told Us Weekly exclusively, “We’re never apart that much. The kids go to bed and we watch a movie, have popcorn and watch our little TV shows. We’re such homebodies. We don’t love to go out that much.”

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