One of the more interesting free agents left on the NFL market is wide receiver Golden Tate. Even though he’s aging, Tate can still offer a team some production as well as leadership, and it’s possible the Detroit Lions still need one more pass catcher.
Does that mean there is a fit between the sides? Perhaps there should be in the minds of some fans, but for right now, Tate doesn’t seem to be focused on a return to Detroit whatsoever.
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Recently, while speaking with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Tate made his case as to why NFL teams should add him to the mix. As he said, he believes he still has plenty of gas left in the tank and plenty of positives left to share with any roster that adds him to the mix.
“I feel like I’m a fine wine, I get better as I age. I haven’t had any major injuries, for the most part I’m on the field, I think I’ve been great in the locker room. Unfortunately last year kind of with COVID and everything going on it just didn’t go my way getting the ball, I made the most of the opportunities I did have when I did have the ball in my hands. I was making contested catches in the slot, down the field, wherever it may be. I’m looking forward to just getting opportunities. Once I get opportunities I will prove how good I am and how good I’ve been over the years.”
In terms of the teams Tate is “looking at” the Lions weren’t included. He cited the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Rams as teams he would like to join. Additionally, he said he would like to join most of the entire NFC West.
While that sounds nice for Tate, the reality is, he may not have a choice if teams don’t want him. All of those other teams have full rooms at wideout. A team like Detroit could make sense for both parties, but Tate would probably have to swallow a bit of pride to return. It seems he is only interested in the higher-level rosters at this point, but if things get desperate enough, it could be worth it to call.
Tate’s Stats With Lions
At 33, Tate is probably living on borrowed time as a high-level NFL player, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still be a quality piece for a roster. In Detroit, Tate already proved how good he can be. With the Lions, the wideout put up a solid 4,741 yards, 22 touchdowns and 441 receptions. He cracked the 2014 Pro Bowl for his work with the Lions, and was a solid player with the Seattle Seahawks before that. The last two seasons in New York, Tate’s numbers have fallen off considerably given his 8 touchdowns and 1,064 receiving yards, but there is little question what he brings to the mix as a stable, veteran presence for a team and a locker room.
When leaving Detroit, Tate appeared to be a bit saddened given his connection to the city and players. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he put up his best numbers with the team as well.
Why Golden Tate Reunion With Lions Could Make Sense
The Lions are looking for cheap help on the wideout market this offseason, and Tate knows the lay of the land in the Motor City, having starred with the team from 2014-2018 while enjoying some of his best seasons in the prime of his career. Likely to be willing to take a low-cost deal at this point in his career, Tate could prefer a place like Detroit, where he’s been comfortable and played well in order to perhaps finish out his career. Unlike others who have never tasted success, Tate already has a ring, so he might not be chasing that at this stage of his career, but rather looking to feel comfortable again.
Getting Tate with Jared Goff and a new-look offense which could be predicated on speed, play action and rollouts could be an ideal fit for both the Lions and for the player at this point. If the Lions decide they need some extra help catching passes, they should call Tate and try to sell him on this idea.