The wide receiver position might very well be the weakest on the New England Patriots’ current roster. While Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman will return next year, the depth and talent alongside him is an enormous question mark — especially with Josh Gordon still indefinitely suspended, and Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson all scheduled to enter unrestricted free agency in March.
Seeing the Patriots invest in their wide receiver group one way or another is a foregone conclusion. The only question is who will ultimately end up in New England via the draft, free agency, and/or the trade market. One of the most intriguing options available is unrestricted free agent Golden Tate, and it sure sounds like he welcomes the idea of potentially joining the Patriots and playing alongside quarterback Tom Brady.
Tate recently appeared on the Prostyle Podcast hosted by former NFL wide receiver Earl Bennett and was asked about entering free agency for the first time since the Detroit Lions picked him up in 2014. The veteran wideout, who ended last season with the Philadelphia Eagles after a trade deadline deal sent him over from Detroit, spoke openly about his expectations heading into the unknown.
“My time is limited, I don’t know if it’s going to be three, four, five, six [years]. I don’t know what it’s going to be, but I’m on the tail end of my career for sure,” the former Seattle Seahawks first-round draft pick told Bennett. “I want to get another ring. Winning the Super Bowl was probably one of the highlights of my career, or the highlight of my career, and I want to get back there so much more. That’s what the goal is.”
After Tate won his first and only Super Bowl with Seattle in 2013, he enjoyed limited success from a team perspective. Even though he averaged 89 catches and 1,004 receiving yards per season from 2014 through last year, the one-time Pro Bowl selection was only part of a single playoff victory since leaving the Seahawks. Luckily for Tate, 2018 playoff teams like the Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens are in the wide receiver market this offseason.
“I kind of want to have my cake and it eat at the same time and go somewhere where they’re slinging the ball a lot, they have a good quarterback, they have a good offensive line, they have a good offensive coordinator. I kind of want it all,” Tate said about his expectations diving into free agency. “I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. Free agency starts mid-March, that’s when the bidding’s going to start.”
“I just want to go into a good situation,” the 30-year old continued. One team that perfectly fits the description of his ideal landing spot just so happens to be the one that won the Vince Lombardi Trophy earlier this month: the Patriots — a club that was speculated to be in the trade market for Tate last year before the Eagles ultimately acquired him for a third-round draft selection. So how would Tate feel about playing in New England and catching passes from a future Hall of Famer in Tom Brady?
“I would love it. I would love it,” said Tate before speaking about the Patriots franchise as a whole. “That organization, they have proven to be champions year-in and year-out. They work hard for sure, but you know where you’re going to be at the end of the season: you’re going to be not only looking at the playoffs, but you’re looking at maybe a first-round bye with this team. You gotta admire that organization, they do things right, they’ve been doing it for a long, long, long time.”
“I would definitely love being a part of something like that and catch a few passes from old Tommy Boy,” Tate continued. “Julian [Edelman] is a buddy of mine, I’m really good buddies with him. I’ve heard good things from Kyle Van Noy, who got traded from Detroit and went there and has just been balling out since. It’s, as I said, a great organization. I definitely would not mind going over there for sure.”
Whether or not the scenario of Tate playing alongside Edelman and former Lions teammate Kyle Van Noy becomes a reality remains to be seen, but the Patriots at least trying to acquire Tate next month would not be surprising given his skill set, experience, and proven production. And while money will once again be a deciding factor, Tate’s statements about his ideal landing spot and desire to play for a contender bode well for New England.
Click here to watch Golden Tate’s entire 18-minute interview with the Prostyle Podcast.