The Detroit Lions have been hosting Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate on a free agent visit, and the visit has went on for so long that you had to think the Lions would be able to get something done with the top free agent available on the open market. Lions official site beat writer Tim Twentyman reports that something big has indeed went down, as the Lions have signed Tate to a five-year deal that’s probably worth a significant amount of money. Hey, who said a lack of an extension for Ndamukong Suh would prevent the Lions from making a big free agent signing?
Anyway, as I’ve said all along, Tate looks like a perfect fit for the Lions on paper, and I can’t think of a better complement for Calvin Johnson that they could have feasibly added. Tate has plenty of Steve Smith in his game with his speed, agility, toughness, and leaping ability. He plays much bigger and tougher than his size, and that allows him to high point the ball and make difficult catches in tight spaces. Tate can succeed in any zone of the field (inside, outside, short, deep, or intermediate), and there aren’t many players who can force as many missed tackles as he can at the wide receiver position. Although Percy Harvin overshadows his playmaking ability, Tate certainly knows how to generate big-time YAC.
Tate’s signing with the Detroit Lions is a big blow to the Seattle Seahawks, and it’s a massive gain for Martin Mayhew, Johnson, and Matthew Stafford. Both Stafford and Johnson will have plenty of pressure alleviated by Tate, who is a dependable route-runner and knows how to get open with ease. I could gush over this signing all day long, and the Lions did an excellent job of filling a massive position of need.
Update: The deal has not been finalized yet, per multiple reports, and there’s conflicting news out there on this deal. But my guess is that Tate will ultimately end up signing with the Lions.