The Case For Golden Tate

February 8th, 2014
Golden Tate has golden hands.

Golden Tate has golden hands

Earlier this week, Joe linked to his good friend Justin Pawlowski, “The Commish,” of WHFS-FM 98.7, who did some research and came up with a top 10 list of value free agents on the market that could likely make an impact for the Bucs.

Among the names on Pawlowski’s list was Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate. Joe was OK with having Tate. He’s not Vincent Jackson or Larry Fitzgerald, but then again, the Bucs just need a solid No. 3 guy for good depth.

Then last night surfing through Twitter, still unnerved at what has become of network TV news channels, Joe discovered data from the spreadsheeters over at that truly changed Joe’s mind about Tate.

In short, Tate does not drop (many) passes, so the spreadsheeters document.

You can’t blame fans for underestimating Golden Tate. Nothing about his 5-foot-10 frame or 898 receiving yards this season screams “No. 1 wide receiver.” While he may not have the physical dominance of a Calvin Johnson or Dez Bryant, he has an underrated reliability and elusiveness that make him a game changer.

While another coach in the NFC West has raved about having the “best catcher ever,” the best hands in the NFL today actually belong to Tate. After dropping just three passes this season, he’s caught 144 of the 149 catchable balls thrown his way since 2011. His 3.9% Drop Rate in that span is the lowest of any wide receiver in the NFL with 100 targets. Tate makes up for his lack of height with an incredible ability to pinpoint the ball in the air, and Russell Wilson is never afraid to give him a chance for a contested catch. Tate’s 189 yards on scramble plays in the last two seasons is the third-most in the NFL, a testament to his rapport with his quarterback.

When we named Tate the Seahawks’ Secret Superstar last offseason, we also noted his incredible elusiveness after the catch. He continued that trend in 2013, leading all receivers with 21 forced missed tackles on his receptions. Teammate Percy Harvin is one of the most dangerous players in the league with the ball in his hands, averaging a missed tackle for every 4.7 receptions in the last three seasons. Who is the only player with a better rate on 100 receptions? That would be Tate, who amazingly averages a missed tackle for every 2.8 catches.

Consider Joe sold. Having a great pair of hands is something that is difficult to buy. In fact, that’s pretty much invaluable. Joe also likes the way Tate finds a way to get open when a quarterback is flushed from a pocket. That’s a skill critical to help Johnny Football.

As a great bonus, the explosive Tate, the next wide receiver drafted after Arrelious Benn in 2010, also was the 10th-ranked punt returner in the NFL last season among players with 20 or more returns.

Joe has no way of knowing if the Seahawks will break out the checkbook of Paul Allen to keep Tate, but this is a transaction that bears monitoring.

Tate has now become Joe’s second target in a raid of the Seahawks’ roster. The other player is, of course, Michael Bennett.

34 Responses to “The Case For Golden Tate”

  1. Harry Says:

    Very impressive. Tate would make an awesome #3 for the Bucs. Lets hope. Nice article Joe

  2. Walter Says:

    “That’s a skill critical to help Johnny Football.”


  3. Patrick in VA Says:

    I don’t know much about what makes a player good for one receiver slot over another. Could someone explain why a receiver with that sort of elusiveness and sure hands lire that wouldn’t be a #2 over Williams? Seems like you want that guy on the field all the time to me.

  4. Bucfan#37 Says:

    I seem to remember when Tate was first drafted that some draft gurus had the Bucs taking Tate. I agree he would help the Bucs now.

  5. ander Says:

    i like this guy but i will still take sammy watkins and draft him if he is still their.

  6. pablo Says:

    Golden Tate has previously stated a couple times that he wants to be on a winning organization. He also stated that he is willing to give Seattle a big time home time discount but he isn’t willing to get disrespected by any means. If you look at Golden Tate that’s over the years you will see that they drastically improved with Russell Wilson at quarterback so I doubt he is willing to come here with my going in unless we are willing to throw him a boatload of money.

  7. William Says:


  8. PhantomVash808 Says:

    Tate would make a great #3 WR but will probably demand too much money coming off a Super Bowl victory. If the Bucs do decide to find a #3 WR through free agency they should go after Edelman. However considering the WR class seems to be deep in this years draft, they should draft a #3 WR and use the extra cap space on other team needs like signing a DE and giving a new contract to McCoy.

  9. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Joe, I noticed that Todd Torricelli (Bucs X 17 years) was replaced by Bobby Slater as Head Trainer yesterday. Any drama behind this or was it Lovie just felt more comfortable with his guy?

    Joe has no clue, and it’s really not a topic that interests Joe, so Joe didn’t write about it.–Joe

  10. Captain Stagger Says:

    A slot reciever usually runs a shorter route tree. Quickness, not top end speed is preferred as the time needed for separation from defenders is shorter. Quickness in and out of breaks. Also the high level of slants and short routes means more YAC opportunities. A Quick slant isn’t supposed to go 5 yards and then tackled unless you are at the goal line. It’s a YAC play that needs a reciever that can make his cut and get seperation in a 5-7 yard window. Then explode through the catch for YAC. Big jump ball guys are best on the outside where size, and speed are more helpful. Big guys like Jackson, and long strides like Green/Moss etc.

  11. scotty Says:

    I wanted tate in that draft he would help vick or any buc Qb

  12. Patrick in VA Says:

    @captain – thank you sir

  13. Destinjohnny Says:

    Should have drafted him over Benn in the first place. Would love to have him as we have sooooo many holes to fill. But at some stage we have to draft our way out of are lack of tAlent and depth at most positions.

  14. MTM Says:

    Tate would be a great addition but is probably going to command a large payday. Its amazing to me how many players this organization passed on in the draft. That have go on to become such coveted free agents.

  15. Snook Says:

    Joe, I noticed that Todd Torricelli (Bucs X 17 years) was replaced by Bobby Slater as Head Trainer yesterday. Any drama behind this or was it Lovie just felt more comfortable with his guy?


    Been here since Dungy first arrived. I don’t see it as a big deal. Probably about time for a change. I’d like to see a big shakeup in the strength and conditioning area too. We need a staff that can keep this team healthy.

  16. Bill Says:

    If Golden Tate is your no. 3 WR, in 2015 you’re looking for a no. 3 wr.

  17. BIG SIR Says:

    We’ll see. I liked Tate out of college but he acts like a bonehead on the field which I don’t see Lovie tolerating. Plus Licht said “value in free agency” which doesn’t mesh with what it will take to get Tate here. He is going to want #2 Mike Williams money, not #3 money which is what he would be on this team. Paying a #3 a $40mil contract is not value.

  18. Hank Says:

    Would love to have Tate or a Tate-like WR in the slot!

  19. teacherman Says:

    Sammy Watkins= Julio Jones and Percy Harvin

    We have FA options for DE an OL.

    I would not mind drafting Watkins.

  20. andres Says:

    That 2nd receive spot is wide open. Tadford doesn’t need or want 2 slow big receivers as his starting wideouts. They’ll draft a burner and it’s up to Mike Will to transition to a slot guy if he wants or he’s gone.

  21. Buc1987 Says:

    But someone on here told me that Wilson had just as many weapons as Glennon did.

  22. Clowney Says:

    Tate was definitely a game changer vs the Bucs in Seattle. When Lovie and Licht review that game his value will be obvious.

    Wasn’t that the trainer rumored to be the one who introduced MRSA into the locker room?

  23. Joe Says:

    Joe, I noticed that Todd Torricelli (Bucs X 17 years) was replaced by Bobby Slater as Head Trainer yesterday. Any drama behind this or was it Lovie just felt more comfortable with his guy?

    No idea. Joe doesn’t really care who a trainer is.

  24. Dan Says:

    i wanted tate in that draft before benn or williams

  25. Dan Says:

    No idea. Joe doesn’t really care who a trainer is.

    even when he is giving players mrsa?

  26. Joe Says:

    even when he is giving players mrsa?

    Hearsay. No evidence of that.

  27. Rob Says:

    Johnny Football, Golden Tate, Mike Vick… Joe sure seems to want all the guys I despise the most around the NFL to become Buccaneers. No thanks.

  28. PRBucFan Says:

    Scotty your right it is Buc news after all unlike Johnny Manchild.

    I think losing Todd was a mistake, largely known as one of the best head trainers in the league.

    As far as Tate goes, wasted time, kid already said he’ll sign for less with Seattle as did Bennett.

  29. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    What they say and what they do is two different things. I can’t even count the number of players that have said that exact same thing over the years, only to end up on another team. Besides, Bennett did not say he would sign for less to stay with Seattle. He said he already took a pay cut last year in signing a one year deal, and he expects to get paid this year. I’d be shocked if Seattle can afford to keep both, as they have several critical free agents and very little cap room. They’ve got so many late round picks making no money that are due for big money. They are going to most likely get purged, unless their GM masters the art of salary cap management. Then again, he’s so good, he’ll probably be able to replace them just as easy.

    I like Tate, but I’d be very careful taking a lot of players from Seattle. I’m not sure they have as many superstars as they do a bunch of players that fit absolutely perfect together, play the perfect scheme, and have excellent coaching. Catching balls from Russell Wilson isn’t going to be the same as it is from Mike Glennon. No knock on Glennon, but I’m pretty sure he’s not going to convert all the broken plays that Wilson does. Not many can.

  30. Capt. Tim Says:

    Lol! ” skill critical to help Johnny Football!”

    Like poking a stick in the eye of the Glennon Mob!

    What ever happened to the Trent Richardson fan club? They were all pretty obnoxious about how fantastic Richardson would be! Until he proved to be to slow for the NFL( as I said he would be!)

    It’s always some love affair for some talentless player on this site! At least it’s consistent!
    Nobody ever learns

  31. PRBucFan Says:

    Not the headline I read and those other players didnt play for Seattle, but it’s whatever. I don’t rally care.

  32. Hawaiian Buc Says:

  33. PRBucFan Says:

    Seattle will keep who they want cause this team wants to stay together.

    This Seattle team is special

  34. BoJim Says:

    VJax, MWill and Tate. Hmmm…….