Should the Detroit Lions extend wide receiver Golden Tate?
The Detroit Lions must re-sign Golden Tate. His age is about to become a factor, but for everything he has done, a two-year extension is the minimum.
Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn’s biggest decision this year is whether or not to extend wide receiver Golden Tate. Tate is in the final year of a five-year, $31 million free agent deal that he signed in 2014.
That deal was signed before Quinn took the reins of the team. But it ended up being one of the smartest moves by the previous regime. And for the previous regime, smart moves were few and far between.
As a Detroit Lion, Golden has been the consummate professional, a special player on the field, and one of the true leaders that wears the “Honolulu Blue and Silver.”
Golden will turn 30-years old this summer, and that is a concern. But if Tate shows another year of productivity, it is not out of the question to extend him for two more seasons.
SEATTLE vs. DETROIT
Tate has the exact same amount of years with the Lions as he does with his former team the Seattle Seahawks.
Of course, the biggest difference in accomplishment is that Tate collected a championship ring in 2013, as the Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.
For each team, he has played four seasons. But his numbers in Seattle are dwarfed by his time with the Lions:
- Seattle Seahawks, 4 seasons, 2010-13
- 58 games, 2195 receiving yards, 15 touchdowns, 37.8 yards per game
- No Pro Bowls
- Detroit Lions, 4 seasons, 2014-17
- 64 games, 4224 receiving yards, 19 touchdowns, 66.0 yards per game
- Pro Bowl in 2014
Tate never had a 1000-yard season with Seattle. He has three with Detroit (2014, 2016, 2017). His increase of 28.2 yards per game is astounding. It is a 42 percent increase in yards per game, which is pretty significant.
His touchdowns are a shade under five per year, so there is room for improvement. However, Tate is the guy that helps the Lions keep the chains moving and maneuver down the field. So, touchdowns are just a small part of his game.
In his four years with Detroit, Tate has not missed any games. This is probably the best reason for keeping Tate around: he is ready to go on game-day.
When Tate was signed, it was not one of my favorite moves. At the time, wide receiver Calvin Johnson was still playing quite well, and the move looked like a nice compliment to Johnson’s size and abilities.
Still, the price seemed kind of steep.
Tate has absolutely gone beyond my expectations, and earned every penny of his contract. He may not be the specimen that Calvin was, but he has proven to be a great wide receiver for the Detroit Lions.
Golden’s biggest contribution might be the importance he has played in the development of quarterback Matthew Stafford. Tate has been reliable on the field, but not demanding of the ball. When he gets open, Stafford finds him.
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Golden Tate’s on-field production is not about eye-grabbing catches (he has made some certainly), but his ability to find space and make tacklers miss. If the Detroit Lions lets Tate walk after 2018, they will know how those would-be tacklers have felt the past four seasons.