The Broncos signed Peyton Manning following that season and Decker has thrived working with the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
In 2012, he grabbed 85 receptions for 1,064 yards, a career-high 13 touchdowns and 52 first downs. This season he improved on almost all of those categories with career highs in receptions (87), yards (1,288), and first downs (63).
So here’s a story of a player who was not highly rated by any recruiting services, yet developed into one of the best wide receivers in the world, signed a four-year contract for $3.3 million and is a free agent after this season. If the Broncos decide to place a franchise tag on him, a possibility if they can’t sign him to a multiyear deal, he would make about $10.3 million next year.
• Former Vikings defensive line coach Brendan Daly has landed a coaching position with the New England Patriots. Daly will join Bill Belichick’s staff as a defensive assistant coach after spending the past three seasons with the Vikings.
• The Gophers had four football players enroll in the spring semester so they can take part in spring practice, including fullbacks Riley Oharah, and Miles Thomas of Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan., where they had outstanding years. Gophers coach Jerry Kill said the graduation of fullback Mike Henry left a big hole for the team, so Oharah and Thomas will have a chance to play next season. The other two players to enroll this semester are linebacker Cody Poock from Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs and quarterback Dimonic McKinzy from Wyandotte High School in Kansas City.
• Twins President Dave St. Peter reported that since Target Field opened in 2010, local and national developers including Hines and United Properties have combined to invest more than $460 million in the North Loop neighborhood near the ballpark. … Former Twins chief financial officer Kevin Mather was named president of the Seattle Mariners last week. Mather worked for the Twins from 1989-96.
• The installation of lights at new Siebert Field started last Friday. The Gophers, entering their second year at the new ballpark, are scheduled to play their first home game of the 2014 season on March 26 against St. John’s. The Gophers will play their first 20 games on the road.
• Former Gopher Kyle Okposo is sixth in NHL scoring with 23 goals and 34 assists in 54 games for the New York Islanders. … Another former Gopher, Phil Kessel, is tied for seventh in the league with 27 goals and 28 assists in 55 games for Toronto. … Former Gopher Blake Wheeler is tied with Bryan Little for the team lead in scoring for Winnipeg with 22 goals and 22 assists in 55 games. Former Roseau star Dustin Byfuglien is the Jets’ third-leading scorer with 12 goals and 28 assists in 55 games.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. email@example.com