The New England Patriots will not sign one of the top wide receivers on the free agency market: according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Golden Tate is signing a four-year, $37.5 million contract with the New York Giants. Throughout free agency, the 30-year-old was of course linked to the Patriots — as late as today, they were reportedly among the teams expressing interesting in the former second-round draft pick.
The market for free agent wide receiver Golden Tate developed quietly over the last few days, but it sure looks like it is picking up as part of the second wave of free agency — and it looks like the New England Patriots are among the teams getting involved: according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the reigning world champions have expressed interest in acquiring the 30-year-old. This makes the Patriots one of three teams tied to Tate.
Rapoport also mentioned the Pittsburgh Steelers as a potential club to watch when it comes to acquiring Tate’s services. The Steelers, of course, have a void to fill at the wideout spot after trading Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders earlier this week. Another team rumored to be in the market are the Dallas Cowboys (via CBS Sports’ Mike Fisher), even though they just recently brought back another wide receiver in Tavon Austin.
As for Tate himself, he mentioned earlier during the offseason that he “would love” to catch passes from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady at one point in the future. “That organization, they have proven to be champions year-in and year-out,” Tate told the Prostyle Podcast hosted by former NFL wide receiver Earl Bennett in February. “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,” Tate continued. “I would definitely love being a part of something like that and catch a few passes from old Tommy Boy [...] I definitely would not mind going over there for sure.”
Tate, who was traded from the Detroit Lions to the Philadelphia Eagles midway through the 2018 season, is arguably the top wide receiver remaining on the market. This, of course, should bode well for him but it might also drive the price out of New England’s comfort zone. The Patriots, after all, are currently only $12.3 million under the salary cap.