Will the Detroit Lions regret trading away Golden Tate?
Before the NFL Trade Deadline, the Detroit Lions shipped away wide receiver Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles. Was it a good move for Motown?
4,741 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns in four and a half seasons. That’s the production the Detroit Lions traded away for a 2019 third round selection.
On Tuesday, prior to the NFL Trade Deadline, the Lions shipped off 30-year old wide receiver Golden Tate to the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles for a future third round selection.
Leading up to the deadline, rumors revealed Detroit was fielding several calls for Tate’s services. But the front office apparently needed to be blown away by an offer before trading away their leading receiver. Apparently, they felt they got what they wanted from the Eagles. But was it the right move for the Motor City?
Tate has been the best receiver in Motown arguably since he stepped on the field. Prior to this year, the ninth-year veteran had never posted under 90 receptions in a season for the Lions. And he recorded three seasons of over 1,000 receiving yards.
Through seven games this year, Tate was targeted a team-high 69 times. He’s recorded 44 receptions for 517 yards and three scores in 2018 so far. Where Tate really excels is in yards after the catch (YAC). According to NFL Research, the Lions’ former wideout the most YAC yardage (2,736) in the league since 2014.
So what does this mean for the Lions moving forward? Nothing changes on the outside as the play of wide receivers Marvin Jones Jr. and Kenny Golladay undoubtedly made Detroit’s front office comfortable enough to make this bold move. Expect wideouts T.J. Jones, rookie Brandon Powell, and running back Theo Riddick to fill-in for Tate in the slot.
Sitting at 3-4, one game out of the lead in the NFC North, the Lions may have picked the worst time to trade away their leading receiver. But they also get back into the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft after trading their own third-round selection to the New England Patriots in order to land defensive end Da’Shawn Hand.
Was this move worth it? If the Detroit Lions were dead set on not giving Golden Tate an extension and going to move on after this year anyway, the trade makes sense. But if the Lions fail to get to the playoffs this season, questions will abound whether trading away your top receiving threat was a wise move.