All of a team’s free agents are important to a degree.
But there was no other way to view it heading into free agency that the Seahawks had two marquee players potentially hitting the market — Michael Bennett and Golden Tate.
Seattle re-signed Bennett today, going a long way toward securing their future on the defensive line.
Tate, though, will become an unrestricted free agent tomorrow as the Seahawks are willing to see what the market is for him and then decide how big of a play to make to retain his services.
And according to former agent Joel Corry, writing on CBSSports.com today, Tate could be in for a major haul.
As you can read, Corry estimates Tate’s potential take this way:
Contract package: Five years, $35 Million
Guaranteed money: $17.5 million
First three years: $22.5 million
Tate was Seattle’s leading pass catcher in 2013 with 64 receptions and 898 receiving yards. He didn’t crack the NFL’s top 30 in either category because the Seahawks ranked 31st in pass attempts. Tate fared better with advanced statistics. He had the fifth-best drop rate among wide receivers on catchable balls at 4.48 percent and was second with yards after catch per reception with 7.9 yards in 2013 according to PFF. Robert Meachem signing a four-year, $25.5 million deal ($14 million guaranteed) at the start of the 2012 free agent signing period after a 2011 season with 40 receptions, 620 receiving yards and six touchdowns should be encouraging to Tate.
If that’s really what the market ends up yielding for Tate, then odds are he’s played his last game with the Seahawks. Seattle would be unlikely to go to that range, probably preferring instead to extend Doug Baldwin and then find cheaper alternatives for Tate either in free agency (John Clayton today suggested Devin Hester as an option) or the Draft, which is generally acknowledged to be especially deep at receiver this season.
One team mentioned often as a possible suitor for Tate is the Jets. Here’s simply the latest story from a New York paper mentioning the Jets potentially targeting Tate.
Players can begin signing tomorrow at 1 p.m. Seattle time. Should Tate really get that big of an offer, his decision might not take long.
UPDATE: Meantime, Tate had an interesting Tweet tonight, seemingly an indicator that offers are coming in:
Things are starting to heat up