The Green Bay Packers are still the only team in the NFL that has not yet signed an outside free agent, but that hasn’t stopped at least one impact veteran from sending them strong ‘come-sign-me’ signals.
Longtime NFL wide receiver Golden Tate went out of his way Monday on Twitter to suggest he would have interest in potentially signing with the Packers this offseason — should they pick up the phone and call to talk business. He dropped his hint in response to a video from NFL Network’s Mike Sliver, who implored the Packers to continue looking at all manners of adding talent for the 2021 season.
“I think there are impact players out there, the Golden Tates and the Richard Shermans, veterans who could come into a situation like Green Bay with so many good players (to) provide veteran leadership and help them get better immediately,” Silver said Monday.
Tate’s response made it clear where he stands on that idea: “I like what you are saying.”
I like what you are saying
— Golden Tate (@ShowtimeTate) March 22, 2021
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Could Tate Work as Value Signing?
Tate is no stranger to the NFC North or the Packers. He played four of his best five seasons in a Detroit Lions uniform, making 416 catches for 4,741 yards and 22 touchdowns over 71 games and 64 starts. He also has four more years of league experience than Davante Adams, who himself has several seasons on the rest of the Packers’ relatively young receiving corps.
Unfortunately, Tate also comes with recent availability issues that are difficult to completely overlook. He missed nine games over his past two seasons with the New York Giants, a far cry from when he missed a combined seven over his first nine years in the league and a troubling sign for a 32-year-old wideout. While some absences were due to injuries, he was also handed a four-game suspension in 2019 for violating the league’s PED policy and was benched for a week after an on-field outburst about his usage.
On the upside, Tate still managed to average 12.7 yards on 84 receptions with the Giants despite a minimized role, but they ultimately decided to release him at the beginning of March with two years left on his four-year, $37.5 million contract.
The Packers have gone for value signings before. Christian Kirksey, Rick Wagner and Devin Funchess were all low-cost, high-reward options when they signed them in 2020. But are concerns about Tate’s injuries and the slow-moving wide receiver market this offseason enough to drive his price down into an affordable range?
There’s also the other question: Would the Packers even be interested in signing a 32-year-old wide receiver on a short-term deal?
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