Ever since Golden Tate came to the Detroit Lions, he has done two things very well. First, he knows how to get open and catch passes. Second, after catching the ball, Tate knows how to make defenders miss so he can pick up extra yards.
In fact, during his four years in the Motor City, Tate has averaged 93.3 receptions per season and his ability to rack up yards after the catch is amazing. In 2017, he led all NFL wide receivers in yards after the catch (YAC) with 639.
Tate happens to be the Lions most consistent receiver since coming to Detroit and despite being 30-years-old, he does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. That being said, Golden is going into the final season of his contract and there is no guarantee Lions GM Bob Quinn will want to sign an older receiver to what would likely be an expensive contract.
So, could Tate possibly be traded before the 2018 regular season kicks off?
Well, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN, the New England Patriots trading for Tate would make a lot of sense for a team that needs a WR.
“I don’t know if the Lions would consider it, but receiver Golden Tate is the type of trade target I’d inquire about for the Patriots. Playing fantasy GM, a package of defensive tackle Malcom Brown and linebacker Elandon Roberts would be something I’d float out there to see if there was a bite. Something tells me Lions fans would tell me I’m not realistic, even though Tate is entering the final year of his contract and the Patriots might have to do some cap maneuvering to bring him on.”
Michael Lombardi of The Athletic seems to agree with the notion.
Golden Tate in the last year of his deal–and @MikeReiss does not throw stuff off the wall–makes sense to target him, reasonable price and fits their offense to a tee.
— Michael Lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) August 27, 2018
As a Lions fan, this should all come down to whether or not you think the team can contend with Tate this season. If you do, then trading Tate would really hurt the offense. If you feel the team is still a ways away from contending for a Super Bowl, it could make sense to trade Tate in order to solidify the future roster. This would be especially true if don’t think the Lions should give him an extension before his contract runs out.
Personally, and I admit to drinking the Lions Kool-Aid, I think this team is going to be very good on offense this season and if Matt Patricia can work his magic and have the defense in the top 15-18 range or so, it could be a special season. That being said, I would prefer Detroit hang on to Tate for the season and then decide whether or not he is worth paying for moving forward.