Welcome to the start of the 2019 Jets Free Agency Profile series! Up until the start of the 2019 free agency period in March, I’ll be running through a bunch of names the Jets could potentially bring in with their hoard of cap space. Let’s begin!
Name: Golden Tate
Birthday/Age: August 2nd, 1988 (age 31 on September 1st)
Height/Weight: 5’10, 197
FA type: Unrestricted
College: Notre Dame (selected by Seattle at 60th overall in the second round of the 2010 Draft)
Team(s): Eagles (2018), Lions (2014-18), Seahawks (2010-13)
Position/usage: Slot receiver. Very frequently featured on screen plays and often used in motion, as he is an end-around threat (has averaged seven rushing attempts per season over past four years)
2018 stats: 15 games, 74 catches, 113 targets, 795 yards, 4 touchdowns. 65.5% catch rate, 10.7 yards per reception, 7.04 yards per target (65th / 83 wide receivers with 50+ targets)
Playoffs: 2 games, 7 catches, 13 targets, 64 yards, 1 touchdown
Previous salary: Signed a 5-year, $31M ($16M guaranteed) deal with Detroit prior to 2014. Had a $7M cap hit in 2018
Spotrac Market Value: $10.2M/year
Jets connections: None notable
Measurables (via mockdraftable.com):
- Very good after the catch receiver, a trait Adam Gase values in his WRs. Ranked 5th (2016), 6th (2017), and 20th (2018) among wide receivers in YAC/reception over the last three seasons. Led wide receivers in forced missed tackles every season from 2013-17
- Proven slot guy, something the Jets sorely lacked in 2018. Uses the middle of the field, which Sam Darnold struggled to do in his rookie season
- Having a bona fide slot receiver should allow for more snaps lined up outside for Quincy Enunwa, which is where he was most effective in 2016
- Lots of playoff experience, has appeared in the playoffs six times with three different teams over his nine year career, playing in eleven games total. Includes a Super Bowl win with the Seahawks in 2013
- Despite his down year in 2018, Tate ranked 9th in the league in total receiving yards from 2014-17 (4,224), eclipsing 1,000 yards in three of his four full seasons in Detroit
- Has not missed a game since 2012 and has only missed one game since 2011
- Sam Darnold’s most eye-popping trait in his rookie year was his improvisational ability. Late in the year, Darnold finally started to generate that scramble drill charisma with Robby Anderson and Chris Herndon, and that is when we really started to see the rookie take off.
Tate is a tremendous improviser. After he paired up with Carson Wentz, he made a bunch of phenomenal scramble drill plays. You could easily picture Darnold being the passer in the clips below.
Here, Tate is lined up slot right. His initial route is covered, but once he recognizes Wentz extending the play, he puts in defender in the dirt with a great move pivoting outside towards the back pylon to make himself an open target for the touchdown.
Earlier in the same game, another great improvisational play from Tate. The Eagles fake the handoff to him after he comes in motion, and he was only supposed to be a checkdown option in the flat. After Wentz scrambles, Tate takes advantage of the defender playing the underneath throw, and goes over the top to open himself up for an impressive grab. (Luckily his fumble goes out of bounds.)
- Will be 31 at the start of the 2019 season, and has a ton of mileage. 140 regular season games played (10th among active wide receivers) plus eleven playoff games, in a role that draws more hits than most other wide receivers take
- Down year in 2018, posted fewest receiving yards per game since 2012 and second-fewest yards per reception of career
- Production drop specifically came after joining the Eagles - was actually on pace for a strong year over the first half of the season in Detroit (74 yards per game and three TDs in seven appearances). In Philly, averaged only 34 yards per game on a paltry 6.0 yards per target, scoring only two touchdowns in ten games. 3.7 receptions per game as an Eagle was his worst since 2012 - conversely, his 6.3 receptions per game as a Lion in 2018 was on pace for a new career best
- In 2018, posted a 31% first down rate and a 90.2 passer rating when targeted, both numbers his worst since 2011. Sticking with the trend, both numbers dipped after he went to Philadelphia, at 27% and 82.8, respectively
- Thin wide receiver market could drive his price above the number you would prefer to pay a 30+ receiver coming off of a so-so season (Spotrac estimated annual value is $10.2M)
Should the Jets pursue Golden Tate?
This poll is closed
Yes, very aggressively
Yes, at a fair price
Only if he can be had for a bargain