Around the NFL, many of the top athletes are not showing up for training camp in the hopes to ink a brand-new contract in line with what they deem is their current value. That tactic already worked for Falcons receiver Julio Jones, who came to an agreement with ownership after threatening to hold out of camp. Plenty of other athletes, including Earl Thomas, Aaron Donald and Le’Veon Bell, remain out of camp.
Detroit Lions receiver Golden Tate has made it very clear that he’s hoping to get a contract extension, too. But Tate was right there with his teammates on Friday morning on the first day of training camp, showing that he has no intentions of holding out.
“I signed a five-year contract and I’m going to honor it,” Tate said after Friday’s practice. “I love the game a lot. I want to be out here around the guys.”
Tate’s gesture is a nice one to the organization, but it’s unclear if it will pay off in the form of a long-term deal in Detroit. The receiver market has blown up recently with players like Jarvis Landry getting a five-year, $75.5 million deal, and the Lions have been getting Tate at a bargain for an average of just $6.2 million a year. Detroit isn’t in a bad situation for their salary cap, but Tate won’t come anywhere as cheap as he’s been in the past four seasons.
Tate is on the final year of his contract, and the Lions face a tough decision ahead: give their dependable receiver who has nabbed at least 90 receptions in all four years he’s been in Detroit a significant raise , or move on to a younger, more economical option.
Tate has publicly said that he wants to get a new deal done in Detroit.
“I love the city of Detroit, I love the fan base, I love our stadium, so I’d love to just stay here, finish it here,” Tate told the Detroit Free Press back in May.
But for all the good will Tate has shown towards the Lions, the team hasn’t publicly reciprocated the interest. General manager Bob Quinn has remained tight-lipped on the possibility of a Tate extension, but that is typically how the team operates regarding contractual issues.
So now, we wait. In recent years, the Lions have waited until around training camp or the beginning of the regular season to extend their own players. If the Lions are willing to commit to Tate for a second contract in Detroit, expect some movement in the next month.