Golden Tate

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 1/5/22

Today’s taxi squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Titans Cut Golden Tate

The Titans announced a number of roster moves today, including the release of Golden Tate from the practice squad. Meanwhile, defensive back Chris Jones and linebacker Joe Jones have been jettisoned from the 53-man roster. 

[RELATED: Titans’ Dupree Charged With Misdemeanor]

Tate, once one of the league’s best wide receivers, has yet to see live action in 2021. After spending much of the year out of football, he inked a taxi squad deal with the Titans.

For one reason or another, the Hendersonville, Tennessee native wasn’t able to earn a promotion. From 2014-17 Tate had at least 1,000 yards in three of four seasons. His Giants tenure was less noteworthy, but he still managed 84 catches for 1,064 yards and eight touchdowns between 2019 and 2020. Now, at the age of 33 (34 in August), it’s possible that Tate has reached the end of the line.

In related moves, the Titans have also dropped defensive back Rodney Clemons and defensive back Shyheim Carter from the 16-man practice squad.

Titans Add Golden Tate To Practice Squad

The Titans have signed wide receiver Golden Tate to the practice squad (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). The veteran wide receiver has yet to play this year, but he could be a quick promotion away from making his 2021 debut.

[RELATED: Titans Release Adrian Peterson]

“I would love to go back home to Tennessee,” Tate told SiriusXM NFL Radio back in June (Twitter link). “[I’d also like to go to] Indy, over with Carson Wentz. Obviously, the LA Rams would be fantastic with Stafford too.”

Tate, a native of Hendersonville, Tennessee, has gotten his wish. The 33-year-old saw time in 23 games for the Giants over the past two seasons, collecting 84 receptions for 1,064 yards and eight touchdowns. Before that (and the PED suspension), he captured a Super Bowl championship 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 the expectations a bit lower at this stage of his career.

Meanwhile, the Titans have released fellow one-time star Adrian Peterson from the 53-man roster. So, if all goes well for Tate, he could earn a quick promotion to the varsity squad.

FA Golden Tate Eyeing Titans, Colts, Rams

Golden Tate remains unsigned, but it sounds like the veteran receiver has his eye on a few teams. During an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, the free agent wideout provided a list of three potential suitors that each offer a bit of familiarity.

“I would love to go back home to Tennessee,” Tate said (Twitter link). “Indy, over with Carson Wentz. Obviously, the LA Rams would be fantastic with Stafford.”

As Tate noted, he grew up in Tennessee, where he starred as a three-sport athlete (football, baseball, track and field). Of course, the Titans already pulled off a big acquisition at the position when they traded for Julio Jones, but there’s a chance they could be looking for more depth at receiver.

Tate’s best seasons came in Detroit, where he served as one of Matthew Stafford‘s favorite targets and collected three 1,000-plus-yard campaigns. Stafford now finds himself in Los Angeles, and the Rams already signed one veteran this offseason in DeSean Jackson, adding him to a crowded depth chart that is highlighted by Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and 2020 second-round pick Van Jefferson.

Perhaps Tate’s best chance at playing time would be with the Colts, where he’d be reunited with former Eagles teammate Carson Wentz. The duo only saw time in five games together during their stints in Philly, but Indianapolis could provide an opportunity for them to team up again. Tate would have a chance to unseat the likes of JJ Nelson and/or Dezmon Patmon for one of the final receiver spots on the roster.

The 32-year-old has seen time in 23 games for the Giants over the past two seasons, collecting 84 receptions for 1,064 yards and eight touchdowns.

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.

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.

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.