Golden Tate, a 2010 second round pick out of Notre Dame, just completed his fourth season with the Seattle Seahawks. He just set career highs with 64 catches and 898 yards with the Super Bowl champions. Now he will be an unrestricted free agent. Could the Jets have interest?
Tate's career got off to a slow start. He had under 40 catches and 400 yards in his first two years. In year three, he improved with 45 catches for 688 yards, and 7 touchdowns before improving against during his contract year.
Tate does not really jump off the page physically. He does not have blazing speed and is only 5'10." What makes him an effective receiver? A former running back, he is difficult to bring down once he has the ball in his hands. Pro Football Focus calculated that Tate averaged 7.9 yards after each catch, second best in the league for receivers who played a quarter of their team's snaps. He's shifty, adept at making people miss and capable of breaking tackles. He's also good at locating the ball, adjusting, and coming up with it when contested. He had a 65% catch rate when the ball was thrown to him. He also has good hands and seldom drops one thrown to him.
Tate is the kind of free agent I like. He doesn't have the monster resume that will make him command a ton of money. He's a productive young player who has consistently improved and whose career is trending up. The Jets need a gamebreaker in the passing game. Tate is not that, but the Jets also need quality complimentary pieces. Tate can be part of the solution. The Seahawks have so much elite talent to lock up in coming years that a guy like Tate might be tough for them to keep. I think around $4 million annually should do the trick, and the Jets should have interest.