MARCH 30: The specifics of Tate’s contract have come in, and it appears that the deal’s actual value has been “puffed up,” writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Tate gets a $1.5MM signing bonus, a fully-guaranteed 2014 base salary of $1MM, and a 2015 base salary of $2.2MM. He can earn up to $750K each season in roster bonuses, but he will only earn that money on a per-game basis for each contest for which he is active. So, as Florio notes, if Tate is injured or struggles, this could easily become a one-year, $2.5MM contract, far from the two-year, ~$7MM deal that was originally reported.
MARCH 18: The base value of Tate’s deal is $6.2MM, with $2.5MM in guaranteed money, tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network.
MARCH 15, 2:08pm: Tate’ deal is worth $7MM over two years, reports Ian Rapaport of NFL.com (via Twitter). For being one of the top young players at the position on the market, it is a relatively cheap deal, especially compared to the other recently signed tailbacks.
Tate has been stuck behind Arian Foster for his short career so far, but was able to put together a nice season as a secondary ball carrier and injury replacement, amassing 771 yards and four touchdowns last season. His career average of 4.7 yards per carry, along with his relatively fresh legs have made him a potential breakout star for his next team.
The former Texan had been considered the top free agent running back on the market, but the position has been ignored this offseason. Toby Gerhart, Rashad Jennings, and Darren McFadden all received modest deals so far, and other veteran running backs have yet to find a home.