If the Detroit Lions want to sign Golden Tate to a extension this offseason, they better be prepared to empty their bank vault. Tate spoke with the Detroit Free Press over the weekend and let it be known he’s very aware of the wide receiver market right now, and he’s ready to get his share.
“The wide receiver market is very high right now, and it wasn’t very high when I came out when I was in free agency the first time, unfortunately,” Tate told Dave Birkett. “It’s pretty exciting. It’s almost like, with these guys that are signing their first big deal, it’s been set. I would have never thought receivers today would be getting paid I guess what quarterbacks were getting paid just four years ago.”
Four years ago, the Lions inked Tate to a five-year $31 million deal. In terms of average salary, that now ranks Tate 34th in the league, per Spotrac.
However, Tate’s value to the team has been much higher than that ranking. Since 2014, Tate ranks sixth in the league in receptions, ninth in receiving yards, and 36th in touchdowns. He has caught at least 90 balls in every season—something he never did in Seattle—and has over 1,000 yards in three of four years.
Earlier this year, Browns receiver Jarvis Landry received a five-year, $75.5 million deal from Cleveland. Tate’s eyes lit up when he saw the figures:
While Landry’s recent production just barely lacks behind Tate, he has one thing that Golden can’t match: youth. Landry (25) will be entering his fifth season in the NFL this year. Tate (29) is entering his ninth.
“I don’t know how teams view 10-year vets, but my goal is just to not show any decline,” Tate said. “I’m just trying to maintain at least 90 catches and at least 1,000 yards and show, hey, I’m still holding on strong, baby. Let’s keep this thing going.”
Tate goes out of his way to say that he’d love to stay in Detroit, “cause I love the direction we’re heading.” But there hasn’t been any progress in negotiations yet. During March’s owners meeting Bob Quinn noted that contract talks are usually reserved for later in the offseason.
“I think all those things in my time here have happened in the summer,” Quinn said per DetroitLions.com. “So, I think our concentration and our focus right now is on the draft. Things that come down the road after that, they’ll come and go, and we’ll talk through it.”
Back in March, we polled Lions fans and 80 percent wanted the Lions to sign Tate to an extension this year. Will the Lions follow suit?