The effect of the loss of Golden Tate to the Lions in free agency will be interesting to monitor. Seattle doesn't have a front runner for punt returns, and they have lost their starting X receiver. Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin are excellent choices to take up the torch, but with change, there is always a little transition that needs to be made, and with that, there is uncertainty and anxiety.
Regardless, and it's just my perception, but based on interviews he's conducted, Golden Tate sounds like he really, really wanted to stay in Seattle but felt that he wasn't valued here. He sounds legitimately sad about it. For what it's worth, I believe he's geniune when expresses love for Seattle, the team, the area, and its fans.
Ultimately though, he understands Seattle's run-first low-volume passing scheme and the fact they have invested in Percy Harvin as their de facto #1 receiver, but he still sounds bummed that the Hawks chose not to make a better offer. While I think there's legitimate reason to avoid putting too much money into the WR position right now, Tate was a playmaker, and did come up big in a handful of key situations this season.
Either way, in my opinion, Tate made the correct business decision, but obviously was drawn to stay in Seattle for emotional reasons.
So what went down?
As Todd Dybas points out in his great article about Tate's departure over at the Tacoma News Tribune,
"The Seahawks had made a "really, really, really low" offer 10 days ago, according to Tate, before upping the number significantly Wednesday while his agent negotiated with the Lions. At the Lions' facility, Tate received what the Seahawks said was their final offer. He signed with Detroit. "As a player in my situation, nothing is guaranteed," Tate told the News Tribune. "You're not guaranteed to play tomorrow, the next day or three years from now. A guarantee, in my mind, is all I really count as my salary. What I was going to get in the first (year with Detroit) was close to what (the Seahawks) were going to give me over a couple years, so I had to jump.
"The number I had in mind was not really similar," Tate said. "The number didn't match up to me how I valued myself, and how my agent valued me. The Seahawks tried, I think they tried."
Tate's visit to Detroit was obviously a leverage move meant to prod the Seahawks after they lowballed him at the start. When Seattle made their final offer and came in well below the Lions, Tate did what he had to do. This series of events corroborates what I'd been hearing over the past few weeks from various sources, namely that Seattle wasn't planning on breaking the bank for Tate and that their main priority for spending cash was on the defensive side of the football. They did that by re-signing Michael Bennett and Tony McDaniel. With great depth in the draft at receiver, Seattle should look to invest there.
Listen in to Tate's introductory presser in Detroit and his conversation with Softy from Wednesday. Definitely a bittersweet feel:
Golden Tate introductory press conference in Detroit
WR Golden Tate on signing a five-year deal with the Detroit Lions.
Golden Tate 3-12
After being drafted by the Seahawks in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft and spending 4 years with the Seahawks, Golden Tate has signed a contract with the Detroit Lions. He joined Softy for his first interview since leaving Seattle.