Less than two years removed from starting games for the New York Giants, former NFL receiver Golden Tate is out of the league and now playing amateur baseball.
Tate made his debut for the Port Angeles Lefties of the West Coast League on Tuesday night. The 33-year-old former Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion helped lift the Lefties to a 5-2 win over the Bend Elks, finishing the game 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI double, a run and a stolen base.
Tate started in center field and also recorded two putouts.
“I am extremely thankful to the West Coast League and the Port Angeles Lefties for allowing me to join their league,” Tate said in a statement before making his debut, via the West Coast League official website. “As some might know, I was drafted twice in baseball. As a child, my first love was baseball, so I’m excited about the opportunity to compete against some of the best young players in the league. I look forward to having a lot of fun and exploring baseball more.”
Tate was first selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 42nd round (1,252nd overall) of the 2007 MLB draft but did not sign a contract. Instead, he attended Notre Dame and became a two-sport athlete. In two seasons with the Irish — Tate’s freshman and sophomore years — he batted .318, stole 16 bases and scored 51 runs.
Tate was drafted again in 2010, this time by the San Francisco Giants in the 50th round (1,518th overall), but instead chose to pursue a career in the NFL. The Seattle Seahawks ultimately drafted him with a second-round pick that same year.
Golden Tate’s Time With The Giants
The Giants signed Golden Tate to a four-year, $37.5 million contract ($23 million guaranteed) shortly after trading away star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Tate, who was already on the wrong side of 30 at the time of the signing, did little to alleviate the loss of Beckham. After starting the 2019 season with a four-game PED suspension, he went on to produce just 676 yards and six touchdowns on 49 receptions in 11 games played (10 starts).
When head coach Pat Shurmur was replaced by Joe Judge in 2020, Tate’s role was minimized even more. The veteran receiver started just four of the 12 games in which he appeared, finishing the season with 35 receptions for 388 yards and two touchdowns. The following offseason, the Giants released Tate just two years into his four-year deal.
With Tate’s former offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett, now locked into a major television role with NBC, it’s painful to look back at where the Giants were less than two years ago.
The Giants Might Be Cursed at Wide Receiver
Have the Giants been cursed at wide receiver since trading away Odell Beckham Jr.?
The Golden Tate saga is just one example of the franchise’s failures at the position since dumping OBJ off on the Cleveland Browns. Last year, they signed Kenny Golladay to a four-year, $72 million deal in free agency and spent a first-round draft pick on Kadarius Toney. Those two receivers combined to score zero touchdowns last season.
The Giants now have the most expensive wide receiver room in the NFL and hardly any on-field production to show for it. If Golladay or Toney doesn’t break out in 2022, the team desperately needs someone like running back Saquon Barkley or second-round rookie Wan’Dale Robinson to fill the pass-catching void this season.