Golden Tate looks to be setting himself up for one last big payday with another solid season.
We here at Slap the Sign — much like most Notre Dame football supporters — are pretty big fans of Golden Tate. It took him a little while to translate his amazing collegiate career to on-field success at the NFL level, but it’s safe to say he has emerged as one of the best — and most underrated — receivers of his generation.
Heading into the 2018 campaign, Tate was not happy about his contract and potential future with the Lions. That said, he did not hold out and has performed up to the recent standards he has set.
So far in 2018, Golden Tate has caught 37 passes for 467 yards and three scores. Those 37 catches put him at just over six catches per game, which puts him on pace to catch 96 balls this season. Heading into 2018, Tate was one of only two receivers in the NFL who had caught 90 or more passes in each of the previous four seasons.
The other was Antonio Brown.
Suffice to say — despite his age (he turned 30 in August) — Tate is performing at a level that should make several NFL teams comfortable tossing decent money at him if he were to become a free agent this offseason. He is currently in the last year of the five-year, $31 million contract he signed in 2014.
Unless the Lions choose to franchise him, Tate should be a fairly hot commodity on the free agent market this offseason. His skill set, consistency and leadership would all immediately improve the offense of any team that acquires him, especially given the evolution away from the big-bodied traditional No. 1 wideout. Dynamic players like Golden Tate are in high demand, and he has the look of a guy can play at a high level for another 3-4 years.