The New York Giants have agreed to terms to sign former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Golden Tate to a 4-year, $37.5 million deal, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The original transaction was announced by Tate’s agency CAA Football.
The 9-year veteran was an unrestricted free agent this offseason after leaving the Detroit Lions last fall in a trade with the Eagles. Now he replaces the recently-departed Odell Beckham Jr., who was traded to the Cleveland Browns Tuesday night for first and third-round picks and safety Jabrill Peppers.
Tate was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2nd round of the 2010 NFL Draft. After leaving for Detroit in 2014, he notched a trio of 1,000-yard seasons in the Honolulu Blue. He has racked up 611 catches for 7,214 yards and 38 touchdowns in his career.
Last year between Philadelphia and Detroit, he gained 795 yards on 74 receptions, reaching the end zone just 4 times.
Let’s take a look at how the move bolsters the Giants’ offense for next fall.
Giants’ Offensive Outlook for 2019
Tate joins Sterling Shepard as Eli Manning’s main receiving targets. Both stand just 5-foot-10, not prototypical size for an NFL wide receiver, though both have been fairly productive.
Shepard has improved each of his previous 3 seasons. In his rookie year after departing Oklahoma, he put up 65 catches for 683 yards and 8 touchdowns. He accumulated 59 receptions for 731 yards the next year, and then 66 for 872 during New York’s 5-11 campagin last season.
Though he received a fair amount of criticism, Manning didn’t have too bad of a year statistically. He completed 66 percent of his passes for 4,299 yards, 21 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions. He just turned 38 though, and he trades decent seasons with less successful ones.
Only 2 years ago, he tossed 16 picks. Only a few years before that, he racked up an absurb 27 interceptions. The 2-time Super Bowl MVP likely is running out of time in his career.
In his most recent mock draft, Pete Wilson of CBS Sports’ speculated that New York will trade up for Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins this April.
Eli Manning may be returning in 2019 but the Giants aren’t passing on a franchise quarterback two years in a row, which is why they’ll guarantee they get Haskins, even if that means moving up three spots. He attempted only 40 passes before last season but the Ohio State standout remains out top quarterback.
Haskins would have Tate for at least a few seasons but may be without Shepard after next season, as his contract will expire.
As Tate bolsters the passing attack, New York will still make 2018 first-round running back Saquon Barkley the centerpiece of the future. The former Penn State Nittany Lion earned Rookie of the Year honors after tallying 261 carries for 1,307 yards and 11 scores. He added 721 yards through the air and 4 touchdowns.
Barkley will continue to thrive in the short passing game, as well as tight end Evan Engram. The former Ole Miss Rebel gained 577 yards in his second season.
Combined with the deep ball ability of both Shepard and Tate, Manning and/or Haskins will have some options. It’s not a perfect offense, but one to build for success in a few years.