OAKLAND CA - OCTOBER 31: Golden Tate #81 of the Seattle Seahawks makes a leaping catch over Jeremy Ware #23 of the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 31 2010 in Oakland California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
I wanted to weigh in shortly on this Golden Tate debate going on right now. John Clayton recently raised some eyebrows and stirred up a debate when he said on the Kevin Calabro show that Golden Tate could be flat-out released by the Seahawks when they cut their roster down to 53. This was raised because Tate has been extremely inconsistent thus far and has been perpetually in the doghouse with Pete Carroll over mistakes and perceived lack of effort etc and so forth.
Tate was hoping to have a strong preseason but has had anything but. Against the Vikings he had two dropped passes, including one that was intercepted, and returned a punt in which people thought he looked lackadaisical. Clayton has raised a bit of a sh*tstorm, and this morning Mike Salk went as far as to say that he believes there's an 80% chance that Tate will be one of the roster casualties on Saturday.
Clayton is pretty plugged into the Seahawks organization so I could be way off base on this (wouldn't be the first time I was wrong), but my immediate reaction is to say that this is a bunch of hogwash. Tate is only at the beginning of his second year and without spitting out the statistics off the top of my head, I'll just say that it's extremely common for early-pick receivers to need a couple of years of development before they produce anything consistent at the next level. In other words, Tate is not 'behind' on the track he should be developing at, if you look at it in a NFL-wide scope.
Futhermore, there are people saying that we don't need to keep Tate now that we have Doug Baldwin. Now, nothing against Baldwin, because I love him and think he's destined for big things, but he went undrafted for a reason. Golden Tate was graded in the first round by the Seahawks for a reason - through the roof potential upside and athletic ability. Multiple year production at Notre Dame. Why would they give up on him after one season? Especially in a rebuild year? Win Forever doesn't mean stop planning for the future. I wouldn't think that's what it means anyway.
To add to that, I don't think the Tate/Baldwin thing is an either/or situation. I think that the Seahawks had it in their minds that they'd keep both Tate and Baldwin when John Schneider wrote Doug a personal note essentially begging him to come to the Seahawks. I don't know exactly what was written obviously, but Baldwin was pursued by 16 teams and got $17,500 bucks and a handwritten letter from our GM. If you read between the lines of that situation and that letter my guess is that it said, in effect, "YOU WILL MAKE THIS TEAM, DOUG." Competition blah blah blah. No, they loved the kid, and we now see why.
So my reasoning goes (and Davis and I were talking about this so it's sort of his idea as well): the Seahawks knew they loved Baldwin so much then, but also in the had high hopes for Golden Tate this year as well (and there is ample evidence that they did/do have high hopes for Tate). It seems that the Seahawks front office had plans to make room for both Tate and Baldwin. Basically, they would have to keep six receivers: Mike Williams, Sidney Rice, Ben Obomanu, Kris Durham, and Tate and Baldwin. Now that John Carlson is out, it makes it even more plausible they'll keep six receivers.
I'm beginning to ramble but the thought of jettisoning Tate annoys me. It's not about the wasted pick at all for me. It's about tossing aside talented players and being shortsighted. I know that Pete and John know a lot more about football than me but I just hope they'd have a little patience with this one. Tate may never pan out, but it seems way too early to make that judgement.
Either way, with the re-signing of Patrick Williams and Chris Carter today it appears, as Danny O'Neil pointed out, that this means Golden Tate is going to get good long look on Friday against the Raiders. Sidney Rice and Ben Obomanu are banged up and will likely sit, meaning Tate will likely start. I'm just really hoping he'll put on a show and put this nonsense to rest.
What do you guys think?