Golden Tate Questions His Future in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - There is still just over a month before the NFL's new league year begins and a lot can happen over the next four weeks but right now, pending free-agent receiver Golden Tate sure doesn't should like a guy headed back to Philadelphia.
Responding to an innocuous report that the Atlanta Falcons signed linebacker Bruce Carter to a one-year contract extension, Tate went the passive-aggressive route on Twitter: "Oh so you don’t have to wait until March to sign extensions. Hmm interesting, good to know ???"
Tate then followed up by asking for potential recommendations when it comes to his next team.
Tate was acquired by the Eagles at the trade deadline from Detroit for a 2019 third-round draft pick and struggled to learn Doug Pederson's offense midseason, ultimately settling in as the third receiver behind Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor.
He ended up with 30 receptions for 278 receiving yards and a touchdown in eight regular-season games but did snare what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown pass in the Eagles’ wild-card round win over the Chicago Bears in the postseason.
Eagles executive VP of football operations Howie Roseman defended his trade for Tate after the season.
"When we made the trade, we were 4-4. We were looking for a spark," Roseman explained. "We were looking for more firepower on offense. When you talk about Golden, here is a guy who has incredible character, incredible production, can really fit any scheme. Everyone in this building was incredibly excited about adding him to our football team. We knew the price to pay. We wanted to make a playoff run. We wanted to make sure that we were putting our team in a position to do that. And we’re always going to put our foot on the gas."
Roseman, though, did also intimate things could have gone better.
"It doesn’t mean we’re always going to be right, but we don’t look back with regret," he said. "We look back at our process, and I feel very good about our process. We’re going to be aggressive, and when we are swinging and we’re going to be aggressive, we feel like we’re going to be right a lot more than wrong. In this case, feel very good about that. And you saw the contributions that he made in a big game."
In many ways, Tate and Agholor are redundancies in the Eagles offense and the thought is likely that one but not both will be back in 2019.
Agholor is set to make $9.38 million this season on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal and the Eagles will want to work on a more team-friendly number. Meanwhile, despite his struggles in Philadelphia, Tate's previous production in Seattle and Detroit will likely make him a valuable commodity on the open market.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen