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March 19, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Wednesday links: Did the Lions overpay Golden Tate?

In light of Golden Tate’s comments yesterday on ESPN710 Seattle defending his decision to leave for Detroit, it was especially interesting to read this story today in the Detroit Free-Press analyzing whether the Lions overpaid Tate.

As the story notes:

The Lions gave Tate an $8-million signing bonus and guaranteed base salaries this season and next of $1.5 million and $3.75 million.

As with all NFL contracts, guaranteed money is the most important part of the deal, because teams often part with players before their contracts expire. In Tate’s case, his real guarantee is two years and $13.25 million, though there’s plenty of reason to believe he’ll stick with the Lions beyond 2015.

Looking at some of the other top free agent receivers, Eric Decker is the only one who got a bigger contract than Tate in terms of guaranteed money (the New York Jets gave him $15 million over the next two years) and average salary over the life of the deal ($7.25 million to Tate’s $6.2 million). Just three other pass catchers got as much as $6 million guaranteed.

Emmanuel Sanders’ three-year, $15 million contract with the Denver Broncos includes $6 million guaranteed this season, and Julian Edelman and Andre Roberts each got $8 million guaranteed over the next two years. Edelman re-signed with the New England Patriots for four years and $17 million, while Roberts got four years and $16 million total from the Washington Redskins.

The story also includes a chart, that puts the WR market into perspective, as well, and shows that Tate’s deal was better than that given to every receiver other than Decker.

It’s hard to know for sure if Seattle’s offer to Tate was really half-as-much as Detroit’s. But there’s little question that the Seahawks have been very conservative with their money during this free agency period, saving it for the extensions down the road to the likes of Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson. Undoubtedly, the Seattle offer was nowhere near what Detroit gave him.

As the Free-Press story indicates, the focus will soon shift from what Detroit did to get Tate, to Tate living up to what Detroit did to get him.

In other news. …

— says Seattle may be Jared Allen’s best option. As noted yesterday, though, there remains the thought that the Seahawks won’t get into a bidding war for Allen and will stick to the same pattern they have throughout free agency;

— Go0d look here at how injury issues played a role in free agent contracts, including that of Michael Bennett;

— USA Today grades the early free agency period for every team and has the Seahawks at B-minus. Some might argue that’s low since the Seahawks intentionally largely stayed out of things to save up money for their own players, and for later. But taking just the last week into account, there obviously are a lot of other teams that made more additions;

Pete Prisco of also gives the Seahawks a B-minus;

Eric Edholm of offers  some thoughts on free agency so far;

Bo Jackson’s advice to Russell Wilson is to stick with football;

— on what was learned on Day 8 of free agency.


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