Golden Tate

Giants To Release Golden Tate

The Giants will release Golden Tate, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Expected to be a cap casualty for a bit now, Tate will become a free agent for the third time.

Tate’s Giants tenure started poorly, with the veteran wide receiver being suspended four games for a positive PED test. He posted just 388 receiving yards in his second Giants season in 2020. Additionally, Big Blue will cut linebacker David Mayo, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Together, these moves will create nearly $9MM in cap space for the Giants. Both contracts had two years remaining.

Tate and New York have clearly been headed for divorce ever since the team made him an inactive back in Week 9 for issues with his effort and performance. In a signing that proved to be an unmitigated disaster in hindsight, Giants GM Dave Gettleman gave Tate a four-year, $37.5MM deal with $23MM fully guaranteed during 2019 free agency.

In his first season with the team, he had 49 catches for 676 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games. Tate became a Super Bowl champion with the Seahawks, and made the Pro Bowl with the Lions in 2014. From 2014-17 he had at least 1,000 yards in three of four seasons, but at 32 is now on the tail-end of his career. He should be able to catch on with somebody, but won’t get much if any guaranteed money.

The Giants gave Mayo a three-year extension almost exactly one year ago, but he didn’t make it very far into that new deal. He had a breakout 2019 season where he started 13 games and graded out well, but he fell out of favor with the new coaching staff led by Joe Judge, and only started two games this past season. The 2015 fifth-round pick of the Panthers will now hit free agency at the age of 27.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Eberflus, Eagles, Giants

Matt Eberflus may resurface on the coaching carousel in 2021, given the Colts’ defensive resurgence. This is Eberflus’ third year as the Colts’ defensive coordinator, with the would-be Josh McDaniels assistant coming to Indianapolis after seven seasons as Cowboys linebackers coach. The Cowboys were ready to make a major change to prevent Eberflus from leaving. They were prepared to promote him to defensive coordinator in 2018, Ed Werder of ESPN.com reports, in a move that would have meant Eberflus replacing Rod Marinelli (Twitter link). Eberflus, however, refused to accept that promotion out of respect for Marinelli. The latter served as Dallas’ DC from 2014-19, with his tenure ending after Jason Garrett‘s 2020 firing.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • For the first time since Week 14 of last season, Alshon Jeffery will suit up for a game. The Eagles did not give Jeffery an injury designation going into Week 10, putting the ninth-year wideout on track to make his season debut against the Giants. The Eagles shopped Jeffery for several months, but given the injury-prone receiver’s contract, the team was essentially forced to hang onto the 30-year-old target and wait for his recovery from a Lisfranc injury. Jeffery also battled a calf ailment this season. Jeffery will join previously injured cogs Jalen Reagor, Miles Sanders and Dallas Goedert in Philadelphia’s lineup. It will be easily the healthiest Eagles skill-position group this season.
  • The Giants deactivated Golden Tate for their Week 9 game, citing his recent effort and performance. They shopped Tate ahead of the trade deadline, and Tate’s wife expressed frustration about her husband’s role on Instagram. Tate liked another Instagram post championing a change of scenery for him. The 11th-year wide receiver, however, said Friday he did not want to be traded. “No, I wouldn’t say I was trying to get traded,” Tate said, via the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz (on Twitter). “I love this organization, to be honest. I love everything it stands for, and I want to do my part and help us win any way I can.” Waiving Tate would cost the Giants a few million in dead money, but the team is expected to cut or trade him in 2021.
  • Patrick Graham has impressed many around the NFL with his work leading the Giants’ defense this season, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes. The former Dolphins DC and Patriots assistant may soon receive looks for HC opportunities. While the Giants’ defense ranks 22nd in DVOA, that is up from 28th last season. New York entered the season thin at cornerback and at edge rusher but still has one of the league’s best defensive lines.
  • The Giants worked out two former second-round cornerback picks Friday. Former Florida teammates Quincy Wilson and Teez Tabor reunited for a Giants workout. The Jets acquired Wilson from the Colts earlier this year but cut him. Tabor has not played since the 2018 season.
  • The Eagles will be without defensive assistant Jeremiah Washburn this week, Tim McManus of ESPN.com tweets. An Eagles coach tested positive for COVID-19 this week. The team has not identified the staffer, but Washburn’s absence provides an indication he contracted the coronavirus. Washburn serves in an interesting capacity with the Eagles, working as a senior defensive assistant and director of player personnel. He previously coached the Bears and Lions’ offensive lines.

Giants Not Planning To Cut Golden Tate?

A Giants-Golden Tate divorce is starting to appear imminent, though it might not happen this season. The team announced Saturday it will face Washington without the veteran wide receiver, indicating Tate will not make the trip. Issues with effort and performance are behind the Giants deactivating Tate, Kim Jones and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com report (on Twitter).

Tate will be given the chance to return to New York’s lineup next week, Jones adds, and an in-season release does not currently appear to be on the table, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. Tate is still on track to collect more than $4MM in base salary this season. Were he to be cut this season, he would head to the waiver wire since the trade deadline has passed.

The Giants did shop him ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline but found no takers. They will not carry his $8.5MM salary on their 2021 books, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY notes. The Giants could save $6.1MM by releasing Tate in 2021.

A 2019 free agent signing, Tate began his Giants career with a four-game PED suspension that voided future guarantees. Although he caught a crucial touchdown pass late in Monday night’s loss to the Buccaneers, he voiced frustrations about his lack of targets during the game. This preceded an Instagram post from Tate’s wife regarding her husband’s role in New York’s offense and Tate liking another Instagram post indicating he should be cut and given a chance with another team. Tate saw time on New York’s scout team in practice this week, Raanan adds.

Through seven games this season, Tate has 22 receptions for 226 yards and two touchdowns. While both those scores came over the past two games, Tate has only been targeted five times in those contests. He has worked as the Giants’ clear No. 3 wide receiver since Sterling Shepard‘s return from IR. Tate has three 1,000-yard seasons on his resume (all with Detroit) and made the Pro Bowl in 2014.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Rumors: Giants, Ryan, Fuller

After dealing Markus Golden to the Cardinals, it appears the 1-6 Giants have officially declared themselves sellers at this year’s trade deadline. Though GM Dave Gettleman may be reluctant to trade away veteran talent that could theoretically help Big Blue win a few games — and perhaps save Gettleman’s job in the process — players like Evan Engram, Kevin Zeitler, and Golden Tate could be available, as Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post writes (though Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says the club is unlikely to deal Engram).

2017 second-round DT Dalvin Tomlinson could also be on the move, per Dunleavy. Tomlinson is playing out the last year of his rookie contract, and while he has expressed interest in staying with the Giants long-term, there has been little progress in contract talks.

As we creep closer to the November 3 deadline, let’s round up a few more trade rumors from around the league:

Trade Notes: Vikings, Giants, Dunlap, Jets

The Vikings greenlit this season’s biggest trade thus far by sending Yannick Ngakoue to the Ravens for third- and fifth-round picks. While GM Rick Spielman said the team is not waving a white flag on its 2020 season, Albert Breer of SI.com notes the Vikings are willing to make more seller’s trades. Teams have contacted them about Kyle Rudolph, their 10th-year tight end who is in the first season of his latest Minnesota extension. The Vikings signed Rudolph to a four-year, $36MM extension but did so shortly after drafting Irv Smith Jr. in the second round. While Breer notes the Vikes are open for business on contract-year players, the soon-to-be 31-year-old Rudolph would make sense as a trade chip as well. He was a trade candidate before he signed his extension. Guard Pat Elflein and franchise-tagged safety Anthony Harris are the Vikings’ highest-profile contract-year players.

Here is the latest from the trade market:

  • While this year’s NFC East could be historically bad, the Giants are 1-6 and in a seller’s position again. They have fielded calls on Kevin Zeitler and Golden Tate, according to Breer. Tate has been a deadline chip before, with the Lions sending him to the Eagles in 2018. Tate’s through-2022 contract, thanks to a PED suspension in 2019, contains no more guaranteed money. Zeitler’s deal runs through 2021. The upper-echelon guard has more than $5MM in salary remaining this season and is due a $12MM base in 2021. The Giants acquired Zeitler via trade in 2019.
  • Washington has lost five straight and is also willing to listen on veterans, per Breer. Two that have come up: edge defenders Ryan Kerrigan and Ryan Anderson. The former is Washington’s all-time sack leader; he has three this season for a deep D-line group. But Washington drafted Montez Sweat and Chase Young in the past two first rounds, creating a rare surplus that has moved Kerrigan to a rotational role. Kerrigan and Anderson are in contract years.
  • Carlos Dunlap took issue with the Bengals demoting him, joining Geno Atkins in voicing frustration about playing time. The Bengals were not eager to deal veterans last year, despite their struggles in a 2-14 season, but Breer adds teams view Dunlap as available for trade. Dunlap is Cincinnati’s all-time sack leader but still played a part-time role for the team last week, despite Sam Hubbard‘s IR placement. The Bengals are expected to cut Dunlap in 2021.
  • The Jets dealt nose tackle Steve McLendon to the Buccaneers shortly after their Week 6 game, and in a rare development, McLendon knew he would be a postgame trade piece a day in advance. The Jets interestingly opted not to hold him out of last week’s game. “I got the news on Saturday night that a car would be waiting for me after the game Sunday to come to Tampa,” McLendon said, via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. “I was like, ‘OK.’ Sunday morning, I woke up, I prayed, and I was like, ‘This is one last ride.’ A lot of guys were saying, ‘Man, you’re really gonna play?’ And I was like, ‘Man, this could be the last time I play with y’all in my career.'” The 11th-year veteran will now be tasked with replacing Vita Vea.
  • Traded players must go through similar protocols to free agency additions. They must pass a COVID-19 test for five days straight and pass a sixth on the day they enter the facility. This formed the Ravens‘ timetable on their Ngakoue trade, per Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com (on Twitter), in order for the defensive end to practice Wednesday and play against the Steelers next week.

Giants Activate Sterling Shepard From IR

The Giants are on track to have their top three wide receivers available Thursday night. They activated Sterling Shepard from IR ahead of their Week 7 game.

Shepard has been out since Week 2 because of turf toe. Should Darius Slayton be given the green light after getting in two limited practices this week, Daniel Jones‘ starting wideouts — Shepard, Slayton and Golden Tate — will be in uniform together for just the second game this season.

Tate missed Week 1, and Shepard left Big Blue’s Week 2 game. Slayton left the team’s Week 6 win but remains a decent bet to play tonight. Shepard has been the least available of the Giants receivers in the team’s post-Odell Beckham Jr.  era. He missed six games last season because of two separate concussions. His return tonight will be a welcome sight for Daniel Jones, who has not played especially well this season.

The second-year quarterback ranks 24th in QBR and has thrown one touchdown pass in the Giants’ past five games. Shepard’s return should help the cause, but the fifth-year wideout (and the Giants’ longest-tenured player) has struggled to stay on the field since signing a four-year, $41MM extension in 2019. In 2018, Shepard established new career-high marks with 66 receptions and 872 yards. The final half of the season will be key for Shepard and Jones’ rapport.

The Giants also promoted wide receiver Alex Bachman and linebacker Trent Harris ahead of their Eagles matchup.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Dak, D-Jax, Eagles, Giants

After a week of limited practices, two of which involving no throwing, Dak Prescott is no longer on the Cowboys‘ Week 16 injury report. Prescott will make his 63rd straight regular-season start Sunday. He participated in light throwing drills Friday, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com. While Prescott’s status never seemed to be in doubt, his practice routine this week was notable. The former offensive rookie of the year had never previously been designated as limited during his four-year career.

Here is the latest from the NFC East, shifting first to the other team in Sunday’s marquee game.

  • Should the Eagles pull off the upset Sunday and then defeat the Giants in their regular-season finale, they would make the playoffs. If that happens, DeSean Jackson offered a glimmer of hope he could return from IR. Weeks after undergoing groin surgery, the 33-year-old wide receiver shared a workout video of him featuring sprints and agility drills (Instagram link). If Jackson does not experience any setbacks, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio tweets he is on target to play once eligible. However, Jackson not being eligible until the divisional round may make this a moot point for the 7-7 Eagles. Philadelphia has Jackson and Alshon Jeffery on IR, and Nelson Agholor may be on the wrong end of questionable after not practicing all week.
  • Said upset will be a bit more difficult without Lane Johnson, who will miss a second straight game because of the high ankle sprain he suffered in Week 14. The Eagles declared their All-Pro right tackle out against the Cowboys. Johnson has missed two games this season, the first due to a concussion. Halapoulivaati Vaitai will draw the start.
  • Golden Tate‘s 2020 salary was to be guaranteed, but because of the PED suspension the Giants wideout received, he now could be a cut candidate. The 31-year-old receiver, whose $7.98MM base salary next year is no longer guaranteed, addressed this prospect this week. “There’s not 100% certainty in really anything,” Tate said, via the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy. “I definitely hope and plan to be here. I think I’ve proven to be a solid leader for our locker room. I feel like I’ve been productive, and I haven’t shown a decline. But I don’t know what people upstairs think.” Rookie fifth-rounder Darius Slayton‘s emergence will likely play a role in the team’s decision. Slayton, Sterling Shepard and Tate are all signed through at least the 2022 season.

Giants WR Golden Tate Out With Concussion

Giants wide receiver Golden Tate will not practice today and is out for New York’s upcoming matchup against the Packers while he deals with a concussion, according to Ryan Dunleavy of The New York Post. Tate sustained a concussion in last week’s 19-14 loss to the Bears on a touchdown reception and has been in the league’s protocol since.

Tate, signed this offseason by the Giants, has hauled in 36 receptions for 450 yards and 4 touchdowns over seven games this season. With Tate out and tight end Evan Ingram dealing with an injury of his own, expect New York to rely heavily on running back Saquon Barkley against the Packers.

According to the Giants depth chart, Cody Latimer is next in line to take Tate’s starting spot, but Darius Slayton started in place of Sterling Shepard while he was out with a concussion of his own. Regardless, this season’s revolving door of receivers has not made adjusting to the NFL any easier for rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, who has struggled mightily since a strong start to the season.

 

WR Golden Tate In Concussion Protocol

Giants wide receiver Golden Tate is once again in the concussion protocol after landing awkwardly on a touchdown reception in Sunday’s 19-14 loss to the Bears, according to a team release. While rookie quarterback Daniel Jones has struggled to adjust to NFL defenses, Tate has been his most productive receiver.

The Giants front office was criticized mightily for their decisions to select Jones with the sixth overall pick and to trade Odell Beckham Jr. General manager Dave Gettleman believed the team would be better served by recouping assets for Beckham and signing Tate to a 4-year, $37.5MM contract. Only time will tell whether Jones can become the New York’s franchise quarterback, but injuries to the Giants skill positions have further hampered his ability to be productive.

Tate was an iron man over the first nine seasons of his career, playing in at least 11 games every season and appearing in at least 15 games over the previous eight. However, Tate was suspended by the league for the first four games of 2019 for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. In the Giants seven games since his suspension, he hauled in 36 receptions for 450 yards and 4 touchdowns. Now, the team may have to rely more heavily on Sterling Shepard, who just returned from the concussion protocol himself.

 

Golden Tate Talks Lions Tenure, New Home

Golden Tate spent four-plus seasons with the Lions before the team traded him to the Eagles last fall. Tate and the team were negotiating an extension and the franchise made an offer during the 2018 season. Tate declined the offer, feeling that it was not up to par with his worth, and the Lions dealt him away.

“They offered me. I declined it. I think like a day later they traded me,” said Tate (via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com). “They gave me an offer that was not what I thought I was worth. I just respectfully declined it, showed up to work the next day and …”

Tate will make his return to Detroit with the Giants taking on the Lions in Week 8. He maintains that he has no hard feelings toward the franchise.

“I understand it’s a business. Since I left, they’ve gotten rid of a lot of guys that were pretty good on that team. It is what it is when you get a new coaching staff, a new head coach who is going to make this his way. Sometimes there are casualties,” Tate said.

Tate admits that he wanted to remain in Detroit but he’s happy with the way things played out. The wide receiver inked a four-year, $37.5MM deal with the Giants this offseason.

“I like it. I really like the group we have,” Tate said. “I don’t like the outcome of all these games obviously. We’re going to change that. Each and every guy in this building shows up to work. You have to appreciate that. I think it’s very, very easy to get down when you’re 2-5. I don’t see guys doing that. I don’t see guys tanking. I see guys still trying to figure it out.”