Potential Patriots free agent target: Golden Tate

WEEI
February 18, 2019 - 11:30 am
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By Mateo Aycardi

Over the next few weeks, WEEI.com will take a look at a number of free agents who the Patriots could potentially target. Free agency officially begins March 13.

Name: Golden Tate

Age: 30 

Position: Wide Receiver

2018 stats: 74 receptions, 795 yards, four touchdowns.

The skinny: Tate’s career began with four years in Seattle playing for Pete Carroll. While he was a pivotal part of Seattle’s push for a Super Bowl in 2013, his true impact was on clear display during his time with the Lions. In his first official season in Detroit, Tate exploded as the No. 1 option in times where former Lion Calvin Johnson Jr was unavailable. He posted a career high 1,338 receiving yards and was selected to his only Pro Bowl selection. While he may not be the same weapon he once was, he is only a year removed from posting 1,000 receiving yards with the Lions in 2017.

Why he's a fit for Patriots: The Patriots’ Super Bowl LIII win was driven by a dominating defense. It would seem the offense needs more weapons help alleviate the pressure on Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski (if he returns). Thus, Tate is a potential option for the Patriots to consider during free agency. While he doesn’t possess the breakaway speed he once did, his route running and elusiveness have maintained a steady pace throughout the entirety of his career. The one issue that could deter the Patriots from pursuing Tate may be that he is soon to command a moderate amount as an unrestricted free agent.

However, if the Patriots were to look for a deal, Tate’s production alongside Edelman would allow Bill Belichick to focus on other needs through the draft. With Tom Brady close to retirement, it’s important for New England to focus on surrounding him with the right personnel to excel in his final years.

Related: Hannable: Why move Patriots made in late August is so important right now

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