It’s no secret that Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate is entering the final year of his contract. We’ve been talking about it since about mid-season last year, and it appears that this is going to be one of the story lines that is going to persist throughout this upcoming season.
Tate was a major disappointment over his 2 seasons in the league. He struggled to get on the field with regularity, and didn’t contribute much when he did see playing time. He was especially disappointing in the slot, which is where his small frame is most suited for playing.
Then 2012 happened. Tate finished the year with 45 catches, 688 yards and 7 touchdowns. Those aren’t huge numbers compared to some receivers, but given Seattle’s run-heavy offense, those numbers are fairly impressive.
Tate developed a great chemistry with QB Russell Wilson for when plays would break down. Whenever Wilson would break containment and get outside the pocket, he’d look Tate’s way, often with incredible results.
Tate recently told NBC Sports that “hopefully it works out and I’m in Seattle for a long time.” If that doesn’t sound very confident, there’s probably a reason for that. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said on the NFL32 program that the Seahawks have yet to approach Tate about an extension.
The Seahawks also traded 3 draft picks for Percy Harvin, and then signed him to a huge contract extension. They then used another mid-round draft pick to select Chris Harper. Harvin will be a starter and take away playing time from Tate Harper is ideally suited to play split end, the WR position that Tate played last year, and would appear to be the long term plan at the position.
Also working against Tate is that the Seahawks already have a large amount of cap space tied up at WR with Harvin and Sydney Rice. It is unlikely that that they will pony up another big contract for Tate as well.
One option that has been proposed for keeping Tate would be sign him, and then release Rice to free up the cap room. While this is definitely a possibility, I simply don’t see it happening. Rice, plays flanker, and Tate is a split end. The two pieces aren’t as interchangeable as you might think. It is also much more difficult to to replace Rice’s skill set than it is Tate’s, which make Rice more valuable in the long run for Seahawks.
Overall, my magic 8-ball simply wont tell me what’s going to happen with Tate’s future. The odds seem stacked again him returning in 2014, but I simply have a hard time betting against him. Tate has a way of showing up when you least expect him to, and he might just do that again in 2014.
We’ll have to wait and see.