The Detroit Lions have landed their first major free agent of 2014: wide receiver Golden Tate. He was in town on Wednesday for a visit with the Lions, and he has agreed to a five-year deal with the team, according to Tim Twentyman.
Tate joins the Lions after spending four years with the Seattle Seahawks. He was a second-round pick out of Notre Dame in 2010, and he caught 21 passes for 227 yards as a rookie. A year later, his production went up with 35 catches for 382 yards and 3 touchdowns. In 2012, as a full-time starter, Tate hauled in 45 passes for 688 yards and 7 touchdowns.
2013 was perhaps Tate's best season in the NFL. Aside from winning the Super Bowl, Tate had a career-high 64 catches for 898 yards. He also caught 5 touchdowns, and he excelled as a punt returner as well with 51 returns for an average of 11.5 yards (with a long of 71 yards).
What this move means for the Lions is that they have started to improve their group of wide receivers. That was one of the top priorities coming into the offseason, and now Calvin Johnson has some help in the form of Tate. They could still use more talent and depth at the position, though, so this move doesn't necessarily rule out the possibility of a wide receiver being taken early in the draft.
From a free agency standpoint, the Lions should be able to turn their focus to other positions with Tate in the fold. They still need to find a new starting safety, and there are other needs to fill as well at positions like fullback, tight end, center and cornerback.
UPDATE: The details on Tate's contract are out.