Detroit Lions: What to expect from Golden Tate in 2018
By Kellen Voss
Golden Tate has been a reliable receiver for the Detroit Lions for a few years. Entering the final year of his contract, Tate has something to prove in 2018.
The 2018 NFL Top 100 list was fully released a few weeks back. The list features the best players in football, including a few Detroit Lions, with Matthew Stafford coming in at the 31 spot and Darius Slay coming in at the 49 spot, respectively.
Despite the list featuring a pair of talented Lions, there was a fairly notable snub to the list. Despite putting up good numbers in 2018 and previously being a featured on the list in 2015, Wide Receiver Golden Tate was not listed in this year’s top 100.
The person that is probably the least bothered about Golden Tate not appearing on the list is the man himself. Entering his ninth season in the NFL, Tate has a team-first mentality made it clear to Geoff Robinson of the Detroit News what he and the team truly care about this upcoming season.
"“We have high expectations, and we’re chasing those every day,” said Tate to the Detroit News. “It’s either win or lose, and I want to be on the winning side, no matter who it is. That’s just my mindset."
Every great NFL team need consistent contributors, and that’s exactly what Golden Tate has been for Motor City. He has caught at least 90 passes every season he’s been in Detroit and has also topped 1,000 yards receiving in three of the past four seasons.
Anyone who has ever watched Tate play football knows that he is a menace after he catches the ball. He has led the league in YAC (Yards After the Catch) the past four seasons, forcing defenses to expend a lot of energy as they attempt to bring him to the ground.
Although Tate is turning 30 in August, he doesn’t show a lot of signs of slowing down. He has been the bell-cow number one receiver in Detroit since his Pro Bowl season in 2014, proving to be a reliable security blanket for Quarterback Matthew Stafford to defer to in times of need.
Tate has been producing consistent numbers for a while, as only five wide receivers (Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Larry Fitzgerald, Demaryius Thomas and Jarvis Landry) have had more receptions over the last four years.
One concern with Tate as he enters the final year of his contract is his health. There aren’t a ton of 30-year-olds in the NFL in general, let alone ones that can stay healthy.
With as much as Tate looks great running in the open field, it’s always a little nervewracking to see him cut like he does. As agile as he is, it only takes one tweak or one tackle at the wrong spot for Tate’s legs and cutting abilities to never be the same.
One promising sign for Tate’s health is that he has shown a history of staying healthy throughout his professional career. Despite being smaller than the average NFL receiver and some minor injuries throughout his career, he hasn’t missed an NFL game since 2012, proving that he is in for the long haul.
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Tate definitely has something to prove in the 2018 season, as he is on the final year of his contract and could become an unrestricted free agent in 2019. Although his prime may be coming to a close soon, Tate has been durable and reliable for the Lions and looks motivated to help the team win and earn one more big contract come next season.