Roseman Puts His Foot on the Gas with Tate Trade
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - In hindsight, Doug Pederson offered us a glimpse into the Eagles pre-trade day thinking on Monday.
"I think it has to be the right person, it has to be a character fit and it has to fit what we do offensively," the coach said. "And if it values us and helps us win games, then we will stay aggressive that way. That has always been our mindset."
Dropping "offensively" was either a natural slip for an offensive-minded head coach or an admittance that the team was perhaps valuing help at the skill positions rather than additions on the interior of the defensive line or secondary.
When Howie Roseman pulled off a baseball-like rental Tuesday afternoon, sending a 2019 third-round pick to Detroit for third-down slot machine Golden Tate, it sure seems like Pederson actually tipped the Eagles hand.
"A tremendously productive player and at the end of the day the price is what it is," Roseman explained at the NovaCare Complex after swinging the deal. "... When you look around the league and what the market is for those guys, there is no one more productive than Golden Tate. Since 2012 he's in the top 10 in receiving yards, receptions. His run-after-the-catch numbers are phenomenal, they're always at the top of the league so we are very excited to get him."
How people are looking at the deal has a clear demarcation line. If you believe the window is still open for the reigning Super Bowl champions and Philadelphia could give the Los Angeles Rams or New Orleans a run for their money come playoff time, you likely love the deal.
On the other hand, if you believe that hill is too steep to climb, sending a premium pick for a 30-year-old on the verge of free agency is a faulty way of doing business.
"You're always trying to get the best price," Roseman said. "There is no doubt about it but we are not trying to win the trades we are trying to get really good players."
We know what camp Roseman and the Eagles are in and Tate is surely going to make things easier for Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz in the second half of the season.
From there if you win the NFC East anything can happen on the road in the postseason especially of Wentz gets hot. Meanwhile, if the Eagles to bow out, say in the division round and Tate walks via free agency, he's likely to generate at least a fourth-round compensatory pick come 2020 so there is a bit of a fail safe built in.
From a football perspective Tate strengthens the team mightily on third downs and situational football is a big part of the reason Philadelphia had so much success in 2017-18. The inconsistency there this time around has fostered the up and down nature of what has been a 4-4 team to this point.
Currently, Tate is tied for sixth in the NFL in third-down receptions with 15 and over his last four seasons, he's averaged just over 27 third-down receptions per season so there has been no decline in his game.
"Our foot is always going to be on the gas," Roseman insisted. "We're always going to try to win. We are always going to try to put our best foot forward and what we can do now is try to do that for this season and this moment."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen