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Seahawks Sign Second-Round Pick Golden Tate to Four-Year Contract

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Golden Tate may not be the best player from the Seahawks 2010 draft class, but he is arguably the most talented. Seattle signed the singular rusher-receiver hybrid to a four-year, $3.26 million dollar deal today. The deal includes $1.47 million guaranteed.

As far as I can tell, it's a typical contract for a second-round pick. This process puzzles me. Contracts are damn-near standardized, with pay awarded according to overall draft position with some consideration for position, and yet, contract negotiations drag out for months. What is that front offices and agents discuss? The particulars of performance-based bonuses? How best to celebrate now that you're among the richest humans on Earth? Hint: Avoid the Drank.

Since I have to shoehorn a fantasy post in here somewhere--

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Let's talk about Tate's fantasy potential in 2010. Here's the skinny.

Like most rookies, Tate will be devalued because of unpredictability. All fantasy football players are unpredictable, and so rookies are often bargains. Fantasy rushers especially are easy money, because rushers hit the ground running and running back depth charts are rarely hard to interpret. In other words, draft Ben Tate.

Seattle's Tate will probably break into the league in two capacities: return man and high-value / low-target specialist. Eddie Royal is a fair usage if not ability comparison. Royal was a more refined route runner and joining a much more talented offense. Golden will be most valuable in leagues that allow return yardage and touchdowns and award touchdowns six or more points. He takes a slight hit in points-per-receptions leagues.

Tate's value could increase through the season, as Seattle's receiving corps is older and Deion Branch, should he make the roster, is liable to suffer serious injury on any play. That increasing value, plus the Seahawks virtually non-existent chance of sitting their starters in week 17, makes Tate a player that could start the season slow but become an asset during the playoffs.

Tate has superstar potential, should fall into the later rounds and should improve his production throughout the season, making him a quality fantasy pick in almost every league.