Former Notre Dame standout will head into NFL free agency as one of the bigger names available.
Golden Tate will be a free agent this offseason, and truth be told, there are a number of places where he could fit in and make an immediate impact. He has a unique skill set — having both the ability to stretch a defense deep while also dominating the middle of the field on short and intermediate routes.
Tate has been a model of consistency, having caught at least 64 passes in every season since 2012. That includes a four-year stretch from 2014-2017, where he caught over 90 balls in each of those seasons.
Tate will turn 31 before the 2019 season kicks off, and that might scare some teams. That said, he’s nearly two year younger than Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman — a player of similar caliber.
Where could Golden Tate end up? Here are some options that make sense.
New England Patriots
If Tate ends up in Tom Brady’s lockerroom, it’ll be for a couple of reasons. The one thing New England lacked this season when they lost Josh Gordon was a legit deep threat. Golden Tate could help in that role if he needs to while also meshing well with the short, intermediate passing game that the Patriots use to carve up elite defenses. Additionally, being in Foxboro would likely mean New England got him at a discount rate after most teams passed on him. For a veteran looking to add a championship to his resume, New England is obviously ideal.
The thought of Andrew Luck dropping back and having both T.Y. Hilton and Golden Tate to target is scary. Obviously Tate is familiar and comfortable with the state of Indiana, so that wouldn’t be an issue. This is also a destination Tate may choose in order to chase a ring.
The Raiders need a ton of help. They also need some talented veterans to help with Jon Gruden’s rebuild — or whatever you want to call it. Losing Amari Cooper was a blow to the offense, and Tate would have an immediate impact in Oakland. Additionally, the Raiders are going to have a ton of money to throw around.
Keep an eye on the Antonio Brown “situation.” Maybe it’s thing, maybe it isn’t. If the Steelers and Brown do part ways, Tate would be a solid option to fill that void — even if only for a year or two.
San Francisco 49ers
If Antonio Brown leaves Pittsburgh, it would likely be for San Fran. There seems to be mutual interest from the 49ers. If they miss out on Brown, I can see them targeting Tate as a backup option in an effort to continue stockpiling weapons for Jimmy Garoppolo.
There doesn’t appear to be any bad blood between Tate and the Lions following his trade to Philadelphia at the end of the season. If the money and communication are both right, it wouldn’t be a shocker to see Golden Tate back in the Motor City.