It’s been about a month since the Seahawks won the Super bowl and my football withdrawal is getting serious. Yesterday I tried to ease the pain by watching baseball for fifteen minutes and ended up rocking in the corner, crying.
The best way to combat football withdrawal is to watch as much highlight footage as possible.
Most recently I’ve been catching up on wide receiver Golden Tate’s top plays of the 2013 season. Here’s a 7 minute clip that demonstrates everything he can do:
What stands out to me most watching that is Tate’s versatility. You saw his ability to extend plays by breaking tackles. Tate finished the season with 451 yards after catch, which was 16th most in the NFL, after being targeted 98 times. Several of the guys ahead of him on that list were targeted 130, 140, even 150 times.
New Orleans and Denver are the two best teams in the league at running the screen. Pierre Thomas and Demayrius Thomas were at the top of that YAC ranking list. If Seattle can bring back Golden Tate and have a healthy Percy Harvin, the screen game for the Seahawks next year could be a real thing of beauty to see. There’s no reason why they can’t rank right up there with the Saints and Broncos.
Another thing that sticks out are Tate’s sticky hands – particularly on that amazing end zone catch against the Atlanta Falcons. Tate dropped just two percent of his targets last year.
And then there’s the return game. As we witnessed in the Super bowl, a kick off return can be the most dynamic play in football. In a matter of twelve short seconds, it can swing the momentum or put a team away. That Tate could be the team’s second best returner on the roster is an insane wealth of riches.
On my list of the top five free agents the Seahawks need to bring back in 2014, Tate made the cut. So, what will it cost to bring him back?
According to a system devised by Pro Football Focus, Tate’s value comes to around $5.2 million a year. Signing Tate to a deal like that represents some problems; for one, the team also will want to bring back Doug Baldwin and Michael Bennett. Even after releasing Sidney Rice and Red Bryant, there’s not a hell of a lot of money left to go around.
The elephants in the room are Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman’s contracts, both of which expire at the end of 2014. Both deserve top dollar at their positions and they are indispensible to the defense, which is after all what won us the Super bowl. If the Seahawks plan on extending both guys they’re going to have to find savings wherever possible. As much as I love Tate and Baldwin, I would let both walk in an instant if re-signing them in any way jeopardized Sherm and ET.
However, the good news is that Tate has stated that he’d be willing to give the Seahawks a home team discount to stay.
The last thing you want to do is make an insulting offer and see Tate line up for one of our rivals in the NFC West. But if Tate and the team can meet in the middle without anybody feeling they got shafted, it has to get done.
Playing for an undertalented NFL team, there’s a good chance that Tate would be a Pro Bowler in no time.