Golden Tate

Contract Details: Foles, Tate, Crowder, Desir

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts:

Giants To Sign WR Golden Tate

The Giants have agreed to sign former Eagles wide receiver Golden Tate, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Tate will receive a four-year, $37.5MM contract with $23MM fully guaranteed, according to Schefter. 

Tate entered the offseason as one of the top available wide receivers, but many others agreed to deals during the legal tampering period. Alas, Tate has a home, although he’s a bit late in signing during Day 2 of the official free agency period.

The Patriots and Steelers, two teams who explored acquiring Tate from the Lions before last year’s trade deadline, were also said to be considering him. Instead, the Odell Beckham-less Giants have swooped him up in an effort to revamp their receivers group.

Between the Lions and Eagles, Tate caught 74 passes for 795 yards and four touchdowns in 2018. It was the first time he failed to crack 800 yards since the 2012 season, his first year as a starter.

A 1,000 yard receiver as recently as 2017, Tate could be in line for big numbers once again. His ceiling is obviously lower than OBJ’s, but he can help move the chains in New York. Going forward, Eli Manning will rely on Tate, Sterling Shepard, tight end Evan Engram, and running back Saquon Barkley to keep the offense moving.

Tate’s deal carries an average annual value of $9.375MM, putting him just outside of the Top 25 at the position. His AAV is roughly half of OBJ, who leads all receivers at $18MM/year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots, Steelers Interested in Golden Tate

The Steelers and Patriots are both looking for receivers, and they might have their sights set on the same big name. Pittsburgh and New England both have interest in free agent Golden Tate, as reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The Steelers were reportedly in on Tyrell Williams before he signed with the Raiders, and recently added Donte Moncrief while re-signing Eli Rogers. The Patriots are also sniffing around the available wideouts, bringing in Bruce Ellington and Maurice Harris for visits. The Steelers, of course, are looking to replace Antonio Brown while New England faces some uncertainty with their pass-catchers as well.

It’s anyone’s guess if Josh Gordon will be able to play next season, and Rob Gronkowski‘s status is still very much up in the air. Tate split his time between Detroit and Philadelphia last year after a trade deadline deal sent him from the Lions to the Eagles. He didn’t have a terrible season by any means, but he didn’t fit in quite as well as the Eagles had hoped after he joined the team.

In total, he caught 74 passes for 795 yards and four touchdowns. It was the first time he failed to crack 800 yards since the 2012 season, his first year as a starter. The ex-Seahawk is still only 30, and is one of the biggest names still on the market. The fact that he’s available after the first wave of free agency could suggest he isn’t getting the type of offers that he wants.

The Lions traded him because they didn’t want to pay him, and he’s surely seeking a massive pay day. A 1,000 yard receiver as recently as 2017, Tate would be a big addition for either team. He wouldn’t quite replace Brown, but he’d form an enviable one/two duo with JuJu Smith-Schuster in Pittsburgh.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

La Canfora’s Latest: Mathieu, Ravens, Bucs

While the Texans are attempting to retain Tyrann Mathieu, both the Ravens and Buccaneers have “serious interest” in the veteran defensive back, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Baltimore just released fellow safety Eric Weddle on Tuesday, while Tampa Bay has been in need of secondary help for years. Mathieu inked a one-year, $7MM deal with Houston last year, but he’s expected to receive a significant raise on his next contract. Per La Canfora, Mathieu should be able to collect $24MM over the first two years of a new deal.

Here’s more from JLC:

  • Overall, the safety market is not expected to be as depressed as it was a year ago, when Mathieu, Eric Reid, Kenny Vaccaro, Tre Boston, and others were forced to settle for one-year pacts. Earl Thomas will set the market and is asking for $13MM annually, per La Canfora. Meanwhile, former Giants safety Landon Collins — now on the market after New York declined to franchise him — will likely come in below Thomas, and Bears defender Adrian Amos is searching for $9-10MM per year.
  • While there aren’t any clear-cut, No. 1 wideouts available this offseason, slot receivers are aplenty, and they should get paid, says JLC. Golden Tate is looking for $13MM per season, while Adam Humphries may be targeting $10MM annually and has already been deemed too expensive to return to the Buccaneers. Cole Beasley could also get $10MM per year, while John Brown wants $8-9MM per season.
  • Offensive tackle Daryl Williams is expected to reach the open market, and La Canfora reports Williams’ price has already “soared” above where the Panthers are comfortable paying. Both the Bills and Giants are expected to target Williams, and both connections make sense. Buffalo employs former Carolina staffer Brandon Beane as its general manager, while ex-Panthers GM Dave Gettleman is in charge in New York.
  • The Raiders have already been mentioned as a potential suitor for Chargers receiver Tyrell Williams, and the Colts could also join the fray, per La Canfora. Williams is expected to earn more than $12MM per year on his new deal.

Top FA Slot WRs Seeking $10-14MM Per Year

The top of the free agent slot-receiver crop is expected to be seeking between $10-14MM a year according to league sources, Yahoo Sports’ Terez A. Paylor tweets

That includes names like Golden Tate, who tallied 74 catches for 794 yards in 2018, and Adam Humphries, who enjoyed a breakout campaign 76 grabs for 816 yards with the Buccaneers.

It shouldn’t be too surprising those pass catchers will be looking to command that money. The prevalence and importance of the slot receiver is at an all-time high and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down soon.

Will they reach that mark?

Jarvis Landry set the high-water mark in the 2018 offseason, commanding a five-year, $75MM deal with the Browns. He, however, was coming off three consecutive Pro Bowl campaigns in which he logged at least 90 receptions each season. He also embraced a larger role on the boundary in his first season with the Browns.

While Tate is likely to set the bar this season, he will be 31 when the season kicks off in September. His previous deal also only paid him an average of $6.2MM a season. Humphries, on the other hand, will be 26 in 2019 and will be looking to sign his first big contract in the NFL. Though they will both outdo Tate’s previous contract, in average annual value, it remains to be seen if they could challenge that of Landry.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Notes: Kraft, Flowers, Tate

Patriots owner Robert Kraft will likely not face many legal repercussions from his prostitution charges, according to a Florida criminal defense attorney (via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe). Kraft will probably be required to pay a several hundred dollar fine and attend counseling of some sort, at which point the charges may be dropped.

But the consequences from an NFL standpoint are likely to be much more severe. Volin believes commissioner Roger Goodell should “come down hard on Kraft” and impose at least a six-game suspension and a hefty fine (the maximum fine is $500K). Kraft is obviously one of the most prominent and powerful owners in the league, but he may be relieved of some of his duties (he is a part of five major ownership committees). He was supposed to guide the league through a potential 2021 lockout and lead negotiations with television networks when those contracts expire in 2022, but that is all in question now.

Volin still believes Kraft will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but his induction will now be delayed, and the 77-year-old may not be around to enjoy his enshrinement when it does happen (Volin says Kraft was likely to get the HOF nod in a year or two). And, while Kraft will almost certainly not be forced to sell the club or hand it off to his son, Jonathan, this incident will be a permanent blot on his reputation.

Now let’s take a quick look at a few on-field notes from Foxborough:

  • Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers will be a hot commodity if he hits the open market, but Jim McBride of the Boston Globe says locking him up to a long-term deal is high on New England’s list of priorities. The Pats are unlikely to use the franchise tag on Flowers, and they are unlikely to keep him if it takes an Olivier Vernon-esque deal to do so (five years, $85MM). However, McBride believes Flowers will ultimately return to New England on a multi-year contract, even if he tests the free agent market first.
  • In the same piece linked above, McBride looks at the other Patriots eligible for free agency and their chances of returning to the club. For instance, he believes specialists Stephen Gostkowski and Ryan Allen will certainly be back, while Eric Rowe and Danny Shelton are more likely to find homes elsewhere.
  • Assuming the Patriots don’t trade out of the first round, Doug Kyed of NESN.com sees tight ends Noah Fant (Iowa) and Irv Smith Jr. (Alabama) and DB Taylor Rapp (Washington) as potential fits.
  • Golden Tate would be a good fit in the Patriots’ offense, but Kyed does not believe the Pats will be willing to meet Tate’s asking price.
  • Brothers Devin McCourty and Jason McCourty have announced that they will continue their careers in 2019 after some retirement speculation prior to the Super Bowl. Devin is still under contract with the Patriots, but Jason is eligible for free agency.

NFC Notes: Clark, Tate, Rosen, Alexander

The Seahawks started talking contract with star defensive end and free agent-to-be Frank Clark last month, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks will not let Clark get away. If the two sides cannot work out a long-term deal in the next couple of weeks, Seattle will put the franchise tag — valued at roughly $18MM for defensive ends — on the 25-year-old. That will at least buy them until July to come to terms on a multiyear pact, which could have a total value of up to $90MM. Clark, though, appears perfectly willing to play out the 2019 campaign on the one-year franchise tender, which would make him eligible for free agency again next year.

Let’s round up a few more items from the NFC:

  • It does not appear that the Eagles will re-sign Golden Tate before free agency opens next month, Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk opines. Alper does not cite a source, but a recent tweet from Tate himself and executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman‘s silence on the matter suggest that Tate will be looking for a new home soon. Tate has indicated he would like to be back in Philly, but given the Eagles’ tight salary cap situation, that could be a tall order, especially if Tate is still seekingJarvis Landry-type deal.
  • Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury continues to dismiss the speculation connecting Kyler Murray to Arizona. Many pundits believe Murray would thrive in Kingsbury’s offense, but Kingsbury insists that the team is committed to last year’s first-round pick, Josh Rosen (Twitter link via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com). Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic tweets that team president Michael Bidwill is also adamant that his club will not pursue Murray (at least not with the No. 1 overall pick).
  • Budda Baker has functioned as the Cardinals‘ slot corner, but new DC Vance Joseph said that Baker will be moved back to his natural safety position in 2019 (Twitter link via Mike Jurecki of AZCardinals.com).
  • Despite the torn ACL that ended Kwon Alexander‘s season in October, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com believes Alexander will cash in, though it may not be with the Buccaneers. Laine says that Tampa Bay was not willing to pay $10MM per year for Alexander even before the ACL tear, though she believes that other teams will be happy to hit that figure. Given that Alexander appears to be progressing well in his recovery, Laine thinks his market will be robust (Twitter links).

Eagles Rumors: Foles, Tate, Graham

Will the Eagles move on from Nick Foles this offseason? It sure sounds like it, based on what head coach Doug Pederson said in a Monday morning radio interview.

I can’t say enough good things about Nick,” Pederson said (via WIP). “For him to come here and be the backup behind Carson and then to do the things he’s done the last two years, like I said I can’t thank him enough. He’s a pro’s pro. He’s a great human being, great leader in the locker room. He’ll always be remembered in Philadelphia for bringing a Super Bowl to this city. So, a lot of great things for him and we’ve got these next few weeks, few months to make some tough decision, but we’ll make them at that point.”

Last April, Foles and the Eagles agreed to a reworked contract with a mutual option for the 2019 season. The Eagles can opt into the deal if they are willing to carry Foles’ $20MM salary, but the QB can instead choose to enter free agency if he repays a $2MM signing bonus to the club.

Right now, it sounds like the Eagles will let Foles fly away while moving forward with Carson Wentz.

Here’s more out of Philly:

  • Wide receiver Golden Tate told reporters that he took the most lucrative offer in his first trip through free agency when he left the Seahawks for the Lions (via Mosher). This time around, however, he says he’s looking to play for a winner. That may bode well for the Eagles’ chances of retaining him, though they are especially tight against the cap. Tate, 31 in August, had 30 catches for 278 yards and one touchdown after joining the Eagles in the middle of the season. He put up a 5/46/1 line against the Bears in the opening round of the playoffs but was largely a non-factor against the Saints on Sunday.
  • Pending free agent Brandon Graham won’t say it outright, but Eliot Shorr Parks of WIP (on Twitter) gets the sense that Graham would be willing to take a little bit less money to stay with the Eagles. Graham, 31 in April, had 39 tackles and four sacks in the regular season, numbers that are down from his strong 2017 campaign. Still, Graham graded out as the ninth-best edge defender in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus, placing ahead of notables such as Demarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney, Justin Houston, and Olivier Vernon.
  • Eagles right guard Brandon Brooks confirmed that he has suffered a torn Achilles injury in Sunday’s loss to the Saints (Twitter link via Geoff Mosher). He’ll have a 6-8 month timetable for recovery after undergoing surgery, which may allow him to participate in training camp.

Lions Nearly Extended Golden Tate Before Trading Him

Back in May, we heard that the Lions had not had any substantive contract talks with WR Golden Tate, who is in his contract year and whom the Lions dealt to the Eagles at last week’s trade deadline. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, citing Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, says that the Lions did try to extend Tate before trading him, and Tate believed that a deal was close (Twitter link).

As of right now, there are no reports as to the terms of that failed extension, but Tate is said to be seeking a contract in the neighborhood of Jarvis Landry‘s five-year, $75.5MM deal with the Browns, so it stands to reason that Detroit’s offer was somewhere in that ballpark. Landry is about four years younger than Tate, so despite Tate’s track record of quality production, he may not land as lucrative of a deal as Landry’s, but given the fairly unimpressive list of wide receivers eligible for free agency this offseason — not to mention the booming wide receiver market — Tate will be richly compensated one way or another.

Detroit GM Bob Quinn held firm in trade talks with opposing clubs, but when the Eagles met his asking price for Tate, Quinn felt obliged to pull the trigger. The Lions will move forward with Marvin Jones and exciting second-year player Kenny Golladay, while Philadelphia will add Tate to an already strong group of wideouts (as we learned earlier today, the Eagles did try to trade for the Jets’ Robby Anderson, but New York elected to hold onto its best deep threat, so the defending champs shifted their focus to Tate).

In seven games this year, Tate has 44 catches for 517 yards and three touchdowns. He is on pace to crack the 1,000-yard barrier for the third consecutive year, and while he does not present the vertical ability that Anderson would have, the Eagles will surely appreciate his versatility and ability to make contested catches.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Golden Tate Seeking Jarvis Landry Deal?

Golden Tate is now an Eagle following a deadline deal that sent him from Detroit to Philadelphia, but it’s possible that the veteran receiver only spends eight games with the Birds. Tate, of course, is a free agent at season’s end, and he and his agent intend to use Jarvis Landry‘s five-year, $75.5MM deal with the Browns as a basis for his next contract, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

There are certainly valid reasons to make the comparison between Tate and Landry, and the two have extremely similar statistics since the latter entered the league in 2014. Over the past four-plus seasons, Tate holds the edge in overall yardage while Landry takes the cake in receptions and touchdowns. However, Tate is more than four years older than Landry, so it could be difficult to persuade clubs to hand the new Eagles pass-catcher a $15MM annual commitment.

One factor working in Tate’s favor is the 2019 free agent receiver class. It’s not difficult to argue that Tate will be the best wideout available next spring, as other options that should be available include John Brown, Devin Funchess, Randall Cobb, Jamison Crowder, and Cole Beasley. Tate should be more attractive than any of those pass-catchers, so it’s not inconceivable that he comes away with an unexpectedly large contract.

Philadelphia has shown a willingness to extend recently-acquired players (see: Alshon Jeffery in 2017), but if the Eagles aren’t able to retain Tate, they’ll surely hope the 30-year-old lands a generous deal on the open market. A hefty pact would give Philadelphia at reaping a 2020 compensatory pick in exchange for losing Tate, which would help offset the 2019 third-rounder the Eagles shipped to the Lions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.