Patriots Linked to Free-Agent and Former Pro-Bowl WR

Getty Golden Tate

The New England Patriots just had an undrafted free-agent wide receiver in for workout, which suggests they aren’t set at the position.

Meanwhile, there are a few noteworthy veteran options still available on the free-agent market. One former Pro-Bowler and Super Bowl champion has been recommended to the Patriots.

Patriots Advised to Sign Golden Tate

Jake Frill of Bleacher Report recognizes the Patriots’ need to for depth and playmakers at receiver, and he likes the fit for former New York Giants and Detroit Lions receiver Golden Tate.

Frill wrote:

The Patriots are heading into the 2021 season with Agholor as their top wide receiver. If he builds off his career year in 2020, New England will be in good shape. But what if the 28-year-old doesn’t match that level of production? There isn’t a ton of experience in the Pats’ receiving corps, and N’Keal Harry could even be traded or cut before Week 1. That’s why New England should consider signing a receiver such as Golden Tate, who remains one of the best available unsigned playmakers. Tate turns 33 next week, and he didn’t have a great showing in 2020. In 12 games with the New York Giants, he had 35 receptions for 388 yards (his lowest total since 2011) and two touchdowns. But he could still have some gas left in the tank, especially if he joins an offense where he wouldn’t be the first or even second option in the passing game. It may not be a huge signing, but the Notre Dame product could provide valuable depth and reliability. If Cam Newton starts at quarterback, he’d likely benefit from having as many weapons as possible while trying to have a bounce-back year. If Mac Jones starts, the rookie could lean on Tate as an experienced playmaker. Plus, Tate likely wouldn’t come at a high cost. So there could be a potential fit for the 11-year veteran in New England.

Tate is on the wrong side of 30, and he’s coming off one of the least productive years of his career. In 2020, Tate played in just 12 games tallying 35 receptions 388 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The Patriots wouldn’t be asking Tate to come in and become their No. 1 receiver, but if they were interested, his experience might be valuable for young players like Gunner Olszewski, Isaiah Zuber and rookie Tre Nixon–assuming he makes the team.

Are There Better Options That Tate?

Quite honestly, the answer to that question is yes, and some of them are likely already on the Patriots’ roster. Zuber has shown some flashes in practice, OTAs, minicamp and during his brief appearances in 2020.

He has good speed and could potentially be a big-play receiver. Along with Nixon, the Patriots might have two speed receivers capable of taking the top off a defense. Because the Patriots figure to be a strong running team in 2021, that touch of speed could be crucial to the offense’s overall balance.

Both young receivers figure to have a much higher ceiling than Tate, and they are already in the building.

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