New York Jets Target – Golden Tate

Joe Caporoso breaks down potential New York Jets free agent target, WR Golden Tate

Considering the New York Jets are unlikely to pursue Eric Decker, Golden Tate is arguably the best available option for the team at wide receiver in free agency. You can make the case for Jeremy Maclin but he is unlikely to leave Philadelphia and has injury concerns. You can make a case for Hakeem Nicks, if you think he can regain his 2011 form. Yet, if we are looking at the past season and a general improvement rate over the past couple of seasons, Tate is the top option.

Why are we such big fans of this under 6 foot receiver who is yet to register a 1,000 yard season? Here is an overview of Tate:

Player: Golden Tate, Wide Receiver, Seattle Seahawks

Experience: 4 years (2010, 2nd round pick)

Size/Speed: 5 foot 10, 202 pounds, 4.42 forty yard dash in 2010

Career Stats:

  • 2010: 11 games. 21 receptions, 38 targets, 227 yards, 10.8 YPC, 0 touchdowns.
  • 2011: 16 games. 35 receptions, 58 targets, 382 yards, 10.9 YPC, 3 touchdowns
  • 2012: 15 games: 45 receptions, 68 targets, 688 yards, 15.3 YPC, 7 touchdowns
  • 2013: 16 games. 64 receptions, 98 targets, 898 yards, 14.0 YPC, 5 touchdowns

*Tate returned 51 punts for 585 yards last season (2nd highest total in the NFL), for a 11.47 yard per return average (2nd in the NFL for all players with 30 or more opportunities)

Strengths: Tate catches just about everything thrown at him. It flies under the radar but he has demonstrated the best hands in the NFL the past few seasons:

After dropping just three passes this season, he’s caught 144 of the 149 catchable balls thrown his way since 2011. His 3.9% Drop Rate in that span is the lowest of any wide receiver in the NFL with 100 targets

Beyond that, Tate is exceptional after the catch. He averages forcing a missed tackle on every 2.8 receptions and forced 21 missed tackles as a wide receiver in 2013. Despite being “short,” Tate actually is more comfortable operating as an outside receiver and consistently makes plays on contested catches when he appears to be covered. He plays much bigger than his height. Tate is built more like a running back than a receiver and runs after the catch like it. Put simply, when targeting Tate you can rely on him to catch the football and make a play after the catch. Despite not being a “burner,” he has produced nine receptions of 35 yards or longer over the past two seasons. He was arguably the league’s top punt returner last season, where his elusiveness in the open field benefits him. Tate is a physical player who brings an attitude (sometimes over the top) on the field. His style of play is somewhat reminiscent of Hines Ward.

Negatives: Tate thrives in creating plays from the short passing game, whether that is breaking off a big run after a screen or slant or selling a short route and breaking deep for a big play. His production in the intermediate passing game is inconsistent. Tate also created many plays in coordination with Russell Wilson’s scrambling. It is fair to wonder if he will struggle away from such a dynamic quarterback. It was a little disconcerting to see Tate be so quiet during Seattle’s Super Bowl run. Without exceptional height or speed, he may struggle to ever be a 1,100-1,300 yard type receiver with consistency. He has 12 touchdowns over the past two seasons and seven have come in the redzone but it remains to be seen if he could be a regularly reliable threat there. His attitude on the field can be over the top sometimes, in terms of taunting and trash talking.

Overall: Tate would be a strong addition to both the Jets offense and special teams as a much needed punt returner. He would immediately step in as a starting receiver, who would likely play predominantly at split end but would have the ability to be bounced around the formation to be a factor in the screen game. His ability to run after the catch is essential in Marty Mornhinweg’s offense and he would be a reliable target for Geno Smith, who would not leave plays on the field because of inconsistent hands. He might be a touch pricey but the Jets have the money and Tate would effectively fill a gaping need, while giving them more flexibility in the NFL Draft.

From Field Gulls (a Seahawks blog)…a LONG but worthwhile read on Tate

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • Chris j

    I like Tate, but what will it cost to get him to the jets? Anything more than about 6mil is too much i think

  • Cole Patterson

    Anywhere between 5-7 mil

  • Kyle

    No more than 5/25 or 4/28. I think that should get it done.

  • PC3

    Tate would be the perfect #2 receiver… He has everything we need from a receiver, he’s tough, fast, great hands and can make plays after the catch… Not to mention he’s a beast punt returner as well. Let’s get em.

  • KAsh

    Breaking news: Seahwaks resign Golden Tate for a hometown discount.

    (Joe faints from shock and goes into a depression.)

    On a more serious note, the Jets should pursue Tate with how the rest of the market is turning out. If Tate can take the short and deep routes and Kerley the intermediate ones, they can thrive together.

  • twoshady18

    Mike Wallace is hitting the trading block… any thoughts?

  • KAsh

    Why would Miami ever trade with us? If they would, I would rather trade for Dion Jordan or Jonathan Martin.

  • Steve Windeler

    Give me Tate Kerley, and Lee. Let everyone laugh about us having 3 slot receivers. Sure each of these guys would struggle in a conventional offense, by themselves. Putall 3 of them on the field, and MM could get very creative. The critics sound a lot like the ones that pouted about drafting Richardson. You just have to move them around, and never let anyone know who’ll be where, or which route they’ll run. Let a big corner try and follow these guys across the formation, or pass them off on crossing routes. They can even come out of the backfield, or in motion on shotgun snaps. Let’s incorporate a WV tap pass. Think of the wildcat possibilities. Just give me smart WRs with burst, quick twitch, good hands, and run after the catch skills.

  • Harold


    Martin has been a below average player and makes no sense for the Jets. Both (Howard who should be resigned and Brick) are clearly better them him. Plus the media circus for a sub par player is silly.

    Jordan is interesting if they took our 2nd rounder I would be interested in him on our team.

  • Dan in RI

    If we get Tate, look for us to go “big” in the draft–big as in Mike Evans or Eric Ebron. With small receivers like Jeremy Kerley and Golden Tate, it would be great to have a big target like Evans or Ebron–or even Kelvin Benjamin or Jordan Matthews, who might still be available in the 2nd round.

  • Steve Windeler

    Putting Jordan in a 3 point stance was about the dumbest thing someone could do…then again we’re talking about the Fins. I’d offer them a 3rd. Dion would be perfect on our defense full of interchangeable parts. Pass rushing OLB/Safety tweener.

  • Nikolas

    If this guy can catch “everything” and contribute so well to special teams, then we should go after him hard. I would go for 4 years 28-30 million.

  • Keith

    I think if you can get Tate for around 4-4.5 Mil a season I would bring him in. DONT OVER PAY we made that mistake a few times recently.

    Tate has caught alot of Balls Kerley is injury prone but is leaps and better then Hill. I would Draft Ebron and resign Cumberland. The Jets could run an offense just like the Pats ran a few years ago 2 TE Sets that you can run or pass out of. Tate is an immediate upgrade on special teams for that alone along with the huge hole at WR he is worth the contract. would rather see the team bring in a true # 1 WR if they have to trade up in the draft or trade with a team like the Bucs who are rebuilding and have an aging Vincent Jackson we have an extra 3rd round pick if you can make that deal then the offense would be set with skill play makers for once.