Mar 12 2014, 9:41pm CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
"The Detroit Lions have been very clear all offseason that finding more help at wide receiver for Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford has been a major priority of theirs.
"They found that help on Wednesday, coming to terms with free agent Golden Tate on a new five-year contract. Terms of the dSreal weren't immediately known.
"Tate spent most of the day touring the team's Allen Park practice facility with wide receivers coach Robert Prince and also spent a considerable amount of time with Lions vice chairman Bill Ford."
This sealed the deal for Tate, who said the Lions vice chairman taking the time to converse with him in spite of family issues spoke volumes, notes Josh Katzenstein of The Detroit News. Ford's father, Bill, Sr., passed away on March 9 at the age of 88 due to pneumonia.
"One thing that really stood out to me is that Mr. Ford found some time to meet with me today. I know he's been going through a lot lately with family issues, so for him to find time in his busy schedule to meet with me and have a conversation, that meant a lot.
"And I felt like I was wanted here."
According to ESPN's Michael Rothstein, the deal is worth $31 million with $13.25 million in guaranteed money as revealed by Tate himself to ESPN's Josina Anderson.
Tate told Twentyman in a separate update a snowstorm forced him to stay in Detroit after his visit with the Lions. He took a nap and upon waking up, he already received an offer from the team.
"I came here and kind of hung out. I couldn't go anywhere because there weren't any flights outbound, which is probably a good thing. I had a chance to hang around here a little longer to give these guys more of a chance.
"Actually, they have a sleep room here, did you know that? With like three beds, three or four beds and it is comfortable. So, I got a nice little nap in and woke up and the next thing I know I had a great offer on the table that I couldn't wait to jump on."
In the same article, Tate said playing alongside Johnson and Stafford was much too good to pass up on.
"First and foremost, anytime I have the opportunity to play with one of the greatest receivers ever to play the game, I'm going to jump on that.
"Not only because I'm going to have the opportunity to learn from Calvin (Johnson), but (Matthew) Stafford has a great arm, a strong arm. I see this team being good, being good for a long time, winning a bunch of games.
"You know, I was sitting in my bed last night watching highlights of Detroit and I just feel like I could call this place home."
Tate's addition boosts Detroit's wide receiving corps which now consists of Johnson, Ryan Broyles, Kevin Ogletree, Jeremy Ross, Kris Durham, Corey Fuller, Patrick Edwards and Cody Wilson, per Twentyman.
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell told Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press Tate's hands were a big consideration in signing him. The Lions were one of the teams that led the league in dropped passes while Tate dropped only five of 149 catches during a three-year span, per Birkett, citing Pro Football Focus.
In The Detroit Free Press article, Caldwell makes it clear his team has found its No. 2 receiver in Tate.
"We were looking from the offensive standpoint to find a guy who could go on the other side and be our No. 2 and play opposite Calvin and certainly give us some work inside and out with immeasurable talent catching the ball.
"Golden Tate is going to be that individual, and we are certainly pleased to have him."
Birkett also stresses the Lions passing game attracted Tate, as the Seahawks, his former team, attempted just 420 passes in 2013 -- good for 31st in the NFL.
Tate will have to sport a different jersey number as his No. 81, which he wore with the Seahawks, is taken by Johnson. The ESPN update states the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets were also interested in Tate's services.
Tate, the Seahawks' second-round draft pick in 2010, has amassed 2,195 receiving yards, and 15 touchdowns on 165 receptions, according to ESPN stats.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
blog comments powered by Disqus