If you’ve read any columns on the Seattle Seahawks’ needs in either the draft or free agency, you’ve probably heard they could use an upgrade at receiver. You’ve probably heard this even if you haven’t read any of those “franchise needs” pieces. Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate make for a formidable trio in the passing game. Just not one that instills fear into the hearts and thoughts of defensive coordinators.
Assuming the Seahawks get a receiver in either the draft or free agency, you have to assume that one of these three receiver’s days are numbered with the Seahawks. Sidney Rice is just starting to find his game again with the Seahawks and had a good year with Russell Wilson. It went a lot better than his first anyways and it has Seahawks fans asking what he will do for an encore. Doug Baldwin’s 2012 season was one to forget. He struggled with injuries which kept him out of the lineup for large chunks of the season and limited his effectiveness when he did return to the lineup. He is just one season removed from leading the team in receiving yards though. Then there’s the curious case of Golden Tate. This season (his third in the NFL) he had more receiving yards than the previous two combined. He developed a great rapport and friendship with Russell Wilson and won over the Seahawks faithful. Is this a flash in the pan or is he finally realizing his potential?
It’s pretty safe to assume Sidney Rice will be a Seahawk for many years to come. The ceiling is incredibly high for Rice and he just so happens to only be in the third year of a five year contract. Doug Baldwin’s versatility and ability to play in either the slot on the outside in combination with Pete Carroll’s soft spot for him means he’s got a future with the team. Even though his contract expires in 2014, an unproductive second season and that whole not being drafted thing could make him sign for a bargain.
That leaves us with Golden Tate. It took him three years to do it, but he finally showed that he was worth the second round pick they invested in him. He had his most productive season in every statistic worth noting. He also seems to have a knack for being that open receiver that Wilson goes to after he runs half a mile behind the line of scrimmage. There’s no denying there is a lot to like about Golden Tate. Aside from his peculiar first name. Seriously, Golden?
As much as there is to like about Tate, I think his days as a Seahawk are numbered. For the Seahawks to take that next step as a contender they should, and likely will, pursue an upgrade at receiver. That will not bode well for Tate’s production. He runs sloppy routes and lacks the discipline and intelligence to thrive as a slot receiver, which is likely where he’ll end up if a new guy is brought in. Not a dumb guy, just has difficulty reading defenses.
Tate can be an above average second receiver, but that’s just not gonna cut it. I think it might even be worth trading him now while his value is at it’s highest. Fortunately for ye Tate fans his meagre cap hit of 880,000 means that it’s very, very likely he will be kept. With Rice’s injury history that might not be all that bad an idea either.
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