Seahawks Insider

The future for Golden Tate?

Post by Dave Boling / The News Tribune on June 21, 2013 at 8:37 am with 50 Comments »
June 21, 2013 8:37 am

Looking ahead with Brock and Danny on 710ESPN Seattle, John Clayton recently speculated on the future of Seahawk receiver Golden Tate, who is playing on the last year of his rookie contract.  Clayton notes roughly $10 million going to Percy Harvin and another $8.5 million allotted Sidney Rice, and questions how much more can be tied up in expensive receivers. That’s particularly an issue on a team that last season passed the ball less frequently than any other team in the NFL – 405 times against a league-wide average of 556.

Tate (45 catches) was second to Rice (50) in receptions, with both having seven TD catches. Neither was targeted as a top receiver might expect. Rice’s 80 targets were 73rd in the league, while Tate’s 68 targets were 94th. Santana Moss was the only player in the league with more TDs on fewer targets than Tate.  A number of times during the 2012 season Tate would make game-breaking plays and we’d look at the stats sheet and note he’d only touched the ball a few times. The Green Bay game-winner was most notable, but he added the key late TD on a catch and run in Chicago, threw the TD pass to Rice in the Jets game, and had 105 yards on just three catches against the Rams in December.

It was his most productive season as it appeared his comfort with the scheme and his maturity of play was catching up with his special play-making ability. As Brock Huard points out in the video clip we linked, perhaps it’s Rice who could be more vulnerable to eventual pruning, given his salary. It’s a fair question whether Tate’s size and skill-set makes him redundant to Harvin, whereas Rice, at 6-4, offers a different kind of threat.

All have looked good in the OTAs and minicamp, but a real standout at the position, in my opinion, was Doug Baldwin. And at times, rookie receiver Chris Harper was impressive, and, at 234 pounds, offers another unique option. So, a bigger question is how the relatively few passes will be apportioned to keep these guys happy. It’s a good situation for coach Pete Carroll, whose goal to foment competition at every position is certainly in effect at wide receiver.

From earlier this week, NFL.com polled a panel to rate the league’s best defenses, with Seattle and Houston coming out ahead of the pack. The Hawks were No. 1 in scoring defense and No. 4 in total defense last season – rankings that were the best in team history.  Former front-office exec Charley Casserly explained his pick of Seattle. If Avril and Bennett are healthy and Irvin returns form suspension, “ultimately Seattle will field and excellent outside pass rush” to go with their stellar secondary. He thinks additions such as Jesse Williams and Antoine Winfield will only add depth at positions that are already strong. He calls Chancellor and Thomas the best safety tandem in the league.

Seahawks.com has an interesting off-news video feature on some of the players at a job-shadow program at Microsoft. It’s the idea of Mo Kelly, director of player development, who serves as something of a big brother for the team.  It’s interesting to see former Hawk receiver Ben Obomanu taking part. He already has his MBA in finance after having been an honors student at Auburn. Jets new GM John Idzik signed Obomanu after he was released by the Hawks this spring. Unfortunately for Obomanu, he’s been assigned No. 15, the jersey of departed Tim Tebow.

Leave a comment Comments → 50
  1. Dukeshire says:

    “Unfortunately for Obomanu, he’s been assigned No. 15, the jersey of departed Tim Tebow.”

    That shouldn’t make me giggle as much as it has.

  2. The Hawks will see how the competition plays out at WR this year, but Im betting money that Rice either takes a MONDO paycut after this season, or is “gone like the river down to NYC…” and Tate will get a new contract/extension before he hits FA. He’s just too dynamic a player to lose and Rice just isnt worth the big bucks.

    Baldwin has yet to show he can be healthy with regularity and/or play the outside WR positions. I really like him, but I dont see him making Tate redundant. And from Coach Carrol’s words, it sounds like he’s high on Baldwin again, and he’s talked about getting more targets for Tate and Harvin….as far as Rice?! Crickets….

    Chirp..Chirp…sayonara at the end of the season, dude!

    It will be interesting to see how Harper does his rookie season, and dont forget we have Stephen Williams(?!), Kearse, and others duking it out at the back end of the roster as well.

  3. Obomanu may finally get his chance to start opposite a fast SE, if Holmes can get and stay healthy. I expect him to make everyone in NY forget Tebow ever wore that number.

    He should be able to put up 600-800 yards even with the crappy qb situation there. At least the Jets got rid of that idiot Sparano. That guy was an okay HC, but if he’s an OC, then Im a Gorilla.

    Cant wait to watch our WR’s this year!

  4. Obomanu does have a better arm than Tebow…

  5. montanamike2 says:

    I’d like to see how the season plays out before we decide which salary to trim.

  6. Dukeshire says:

    I agree that the decision on what to do with Tate will come down to who has greater production this year between he and Rice. Rice is only 2 years older than Tate so that’s nearly a wash. Personally, I think Rice is the better receiver by a wide margin, although Tate really did have a solid season in ’12. It would be nice to keep them both, but as Dave points out, that would seem unlikely.

  7. Kingpear says:

    To me, Rice is the better true receiver, but in the age of mismatches, I think that Tate offers more flexibility.

    I doubt you will see Rice here next year at $8.5 million, and you may not even see Tate depending on the advancement of Baldwin and Harper. Baldwin needs to prove he can stay healthy, and Harper needs to show effectiveness in the Red Zone where his size can take over.

    Besides, with so much of the Legion of Boom up for renewal, I would be willing to sacrifice both WRs to lock up the secondary long term.

  8. abqhwkfn says:

    I think both will be gone after this year. The team will go young at the position. I think this is the right thing to do. I am not overly impressed with the WRs. Of course, if the price is right Id keep them both. I just dont think, to this point, either has earned a big pay day.

  9. Lots of decisions after this season, no doubt, but if this front office has shown me anything, they’ve shown they can continuously find talented players that fit roles. My impression of Tate has always that of a special role-player, but less-than-complete WR. There are holes in his game. He makes some spectacular plays, then disappears into coverage for long stretches.

    Rice on the other hand, gets open and troubles DBs on a consistent basis. You can build a passing attack around an athlete like Rice, while Tate is more a role player.

    So my guess is that this front office likely sees Rice (and Harvin) as rare and nearly irreplaceable players. While guys like Tate, Baldwin, and others will always be at risk of being replaced by a scouting staff that keeps finding plenty of talented prospects to fit these roles.

  10. RDPoulsbo says:

    It’s also possible Zach Miller becomes the cap casualty and the team runs a lot more 3WR/2RB sets. It’s very possible now that Harvin is in the mix. Spread the field to pull guys out of the box and keep a power running game up the middle.

    Unless the Hawks draft a WR in the 1st round next year, they don’t have anyone who could replace Rice at this point. Perhaps Harper if he pans out, but we’ll need to see him with the pads on first.

  11. ryanryan says:

    The beauty is that we get to watch it play out…good times for sure

  12. Links to Harvin, Rice, Tate and Baldwin contract details.

    http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/seattle-seahawks/percy-harvin/
    http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/seattle-seahawks/sidney-rice/
    http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/seattle-seahawks/golden-tate/
    http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/seattle-seahawks/doug-baldwin/

    Harvin will count for far more than $10m in 2014.

    Interesting that both Tate and Baldwin will be free agents after this year.

    Even tho I was not pleased with the pick at the time, drafting a WR this year (Chris Harper) is starting to seem like a smart move.

  13. Zach Millers cap charge declines to a much more reasonable rate next year.

    http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/seattle-seahawks/zach-miller/

  14. FleaFlicker says:

    Hard to tell where anybody lands after this season.

    Rice: the best pure receiver in the group, but pricey.

    Tate: amazing ability in open space, but is he a less speedy Harvin?

    Baldwin: looking like a breakout year…remember back to the Real Rob Report when everybody went down to Cali to throw with RW? Paraphrased quote from Baldwin: “The goal is to be the best in the game. If you don’t believe deep down that you can be the best receiver in the league, you shouldn’t be out here.” Question remains: how much will he command on an open market if does have an incredible year? Perversely, a successful year from the team may not give Doug the targets and yardage for a huge contract away from Seattle (assuming we are still a power running team that has to distribute passes among a very talented WR/TE group).

    We got some high-class problems these days….

  15. tchristensen says:

    Zach Miller a salary cap casualty? And just who replaces him?

  16. Dave Boling says:

    I think Zach is a guy who really earns his money, so often making the key block on the edge, and obviously playing big when needed in the playoffs. What a blue-collar worker, too, never complaining about not getting the ball, and playing hurt without a word. Certainly nobody they have on the roster now could replace him.

  17. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    tchristensen, one or more of the guys on the roster may step up. the great thing about this team is there always seams to be a player who can step up.

    i could make an argument for keeping both rice and tate or either. both had some incredible grabs this past season however i think tate was much more explosive after the catch. that being said i think harvin will open things up much more for these receivers allowing for them to shine.

  18. WilliamPercival says:

    Baldwin will be an RFA after this year. You can bet the Hawks put AT LEAST a 3rd on him.. Of course this depends on Tate’s performance (market value) and Harper’s development. We know what we’ve got in Rice, but if he doesn’t stay healthy this year, he’s out.

  19. chuck_easton says:

    Ok,

    We know STTBM loves The Tater. Not a question in his mind who stays if its an either/or between Tate and Rice. Many people, myself included differ in our opinion. But the Slave is consistent. Time will tell.

    RDPoulsbo doesn’t like Millers stats. Again, his opinion. Doesn’t notice all the other intangibles Miller brings with his blocking. Go back and watch a highlight real of Lynch’s big runs from last season. One of the first things you notice is its almost always Miller sealing off the corner or being downfield as the lead blocker. Miller goes nowhere.

  20. guidocarmasi says:

    golden tate —- a name to great to trade away

  21. tchristensen says:

    My belief is some of you should be careful what you wish for!

  22. RDPoulsbo says:

    Harvin’s presence changes the offense’s identity a great deal. He’s much better in the slot than out on the perimeter, so his playing time will come at the expense of Miller and/or Real Rob. A $7M cap charge in 2014 is a pretty high price tag if you’re expecting Miller’s playing time to be cut like I do.

  23. RDPoulsbo says:

    Back when they first signed Harvin, I said Miller was likely going to become a cap casualty after this upcoming season. Before that, I never had a problem with his contract. Now they are more committed to 3 WR sets than 2 TE ones. Especially now that they expect the o-line to block competently, Miller is becoming the odd man out because of his contract.

    As for Tate’s next contract, I wouldn’t expect it to be huge. He’s good, but not a guy teams will be fighting to throw money at.

  24. SandpointHawk says:

    Please see Chucks post above before you cut Mr. Miller…

  25. RDPoulsbo says:

    I never said I dislike Miller. Far from it. I just said Harvin’s presence on the team changes the offense and makes Miller expendible, especially with his contract.

  26. chuck_easton says:

    RDPoulsbo,

    Harvin doesn’t block. Seattle is a run first team and that isn’t going to change just because Harvin is here. Miller’s role as the starting TE is not going to change. In fact, he developed a great rapport with Wilson and became the go to guy on 3rd downs.

    I don’t know why people think that just because Harvin is here Seattle is suddenly going to become a pass happy team.

  27. Seahawks22360 says:

    I’m sure there’s ways to work some contracts around and avoid any “casualties.” Something along the lines of the Justin Smith deal.

  28. sluggo42 says:

    Baldwin is the casualty, Miller is irreplaceable. I posted the video of lynchs big td run when RW sprinted past his to put a little block on josh Wilson.
    Miller was the bone crushing block from the H-back position that opened up the lane for marshawn, who then juked the db to the ground, and raced up for the score.

    Miller is money, and was forced to stay in to block early on to help the line. That guy is going nowhere except the hall of fame maybe…

  29. RDPoulsbo says:

    I still believe they will be a run first team. I also believe you don’t sign Harvin and not put him on the field. He’s more effective from the slot or in the backfield than out on the perimeter, so the question is who’s playing time will be cut to utilize him?

    Also keep in mind they will also need to offer contracts for key players on defense in the next couple years as well. There will be tough choices that will have to be made. That means taking a look at contracts attached to guys like Miller or Bryant.

  30. freedom_X says:

    It’s already been stated – Miller’s cap charge drops dramatically next year. By design, I’m certain. Cutting him next year for cap reasons would be idiotic – it would be like walking away from your mortgage after you’ve almost paid it off.

    And in no way does Harvin make Miller “expendable.” Miller combines receiving ability and in-line blocking. If Seattle goes to 3 and 4 wide sets to replace the TE, then that makes their offense that much more predictable and less versatile. If they bring in a blocking TE to run – again, more predictability.

    Having a TE that can catch and block helps them disguise what they want to do. Unless Seattle switches to being a pass-first team, having an all-around TE is critical to their success.

  31. hawkdawg says:

    If Zack isn’t cut this year, he won’t be cut. Freedom is right. It’s the only thing that makes sense with the current numbers.

    Hawks might try to re-negotiate with Zack to spread the hit, but I haven’t heard anything about such an effort (which doesn’t mean it is not happening, of course).

  32. GeorgiaHawk says:

    freedom_X, I agree, and Miller is very capable of thriving with a pass first team too.
    He isn’t going anywhere imo.

  33. RDPoulsbo says:

    I think people are missing my point. Again, if Harvin is no flanker or SE, and i don’t think he will be used I’m those positions much, someone has to come out and that person will have to be Lynch, Robinson, or Miller. A guy on the sidelines has less value. Yes, Miller’s cap hit will be less, but it still is significant. Certainly more than Real Rob, or as Lynch calls him, his eyes. That’s what makes him a possible cap casualty.

  34. GeorgiaHawk says:

    RDPoulsbo- Miller was Wilsons best go to guy at the end of the season, I just can’t see him as a possible cap casualty.
    See Daves take.

  35. Harvin did play both at flanker and splitt end for MIN, too. He’ll be moved around here too. How many 2-back sets did we see last season? We’ll still need some heavy sets too. Don’t see Miller going anywhere.

  36. RDPoulsbo says:

    I respect Dave, but I disagree with him here. Harvin significantly changes things. He lines up in the slot or in the backfield, making him hard for defenses to match up. With the o-line doing better with protection, especially at the end of the season, it made it easier for Miller to be out on pass routes, something Harvin can just do either from the slot or out of the backfield with better playmaking skills.

    Again, I don’t dislike Miller at all. I just don’t see the value there while seeing him get less snaps. There’s going to be more of these guys we like that will have to be let go in the next few year because of the salary cap. Coming back to the original topic of this thread, Tate is good, but I don’t think other teams will be falling over themselves to throw money at him so I think he can be re-signed at a good price. That can’t be said for guys like Thomas, Browner, or Sherman that will be coming up very soon.

    Hey, maybe I’m wrong like most people think I am. That won’t be the first or last time that has happened and I’ll be free to admit it, just like I did when Flynn was traded for only a 5th round pick, but I’ve been right on other things people thought I was crazy to bring up as well.

  37. jawpeace says:

    I don’ see Zach going anywhere. He is too valuable and no one on the current roster could replace what he does. Even if New England offered the Hawks a first round draft pick. With what the Hawks have on their roster I doubt if they would pull the trigger. If Mccoy was still around then it might have been feasible. As legit Super Bowl contenders the Hawks would be very weak and unproven at the TE spot. Look at New England once the envy of the league and now Gronk’s back surgery and Hernadez facing prison they have become weak at TE.

  38. sluggo42 says:

    Just rewatched Golden wiping Sean Lee off the map over on field gulls. Its one of my all time favorite Hawk Hits

  39. I have to agree with Slave that Golden Tate is not easily replaceable. Normally we are on the same page Stevos, but I would have to beg to differ on this one. Talent like Tate has is extremely difficult to find. Name another 5’10” receiver that has the elite ball skills and competes for it like GT? That is as quick, dynamic, and shifty in open space yet still has the ability to out jump bigger guys for the ball? Maybe Steve Smith, that’s it. And Tate is much younger and just entering his prime.

    GT is a game changer. And even though we already have Harvin, PH’s game is more suited to the slot than the outside, and you can never have enough game breakers.

    Miller is not going anywhere, but Rice is older than Tate, has had concussion issues in the past and is a bigger risk in terms of his ability to stay healthy for a full season going into the future.
    Plus, SR would command more money as a vested veteran. Obviously, it all depends on their performance this year, but all things being equal, I see Rice and Bryant being asked to restructure, or released.

  40. bbnate420 says:

    I’ve been saying that Miller won’t be a cap casualty since people first started suggesting it. Good to see I have some company. I feel even more strongly about it now that McCoy tore his Achilles. There is NO ONE on the roster that can do what Miller does. He fills a needed role. I highly, highly doubt you’re going to get someone else to do what Miller does for less than 7 mil in 2014, so there’s no point in cutting him.

    I think there’s a very good chance that it comes down to a choice between Rice and Tate. It depends though. This is assuming Rice isn’t willing to take a significant pay cut and Tate can garner 5+ mil a year as a FA. It also depends on how things shake out in 2013. Does Rice stay healthy? Does Tate continue to improve? How much do they see out of Harper or another young, bigger receiver?

    I’d have to imagine that they at least make a decent RFA tender to Baldwin. Then they either get him back for relatively cheap or they get a draft pick to replace him with.

  41. Chuck–of course Seattle is waiting to see how the wr’s perform this year before making decisions–that’s what I’ve said all along. But after paying close attention to both Tate and Rice, I can’t imagine them keeping Rice over Tate in any universe, especially given Rice’s cost.

    Tate doesn’t play like he’s less than 6′-2″ and with his hops seems to have a catch radius that exceeds the much taller Rice’s. Tate is also a better blocker, and that is huge in this offense. And Tate’s route-running is rapidly improving as well.

    Basically, Tate is ascending and has a high ceiling, while Rice is past his peak already.

    Too many people seem to think Rice will play as he did with Favre, the one great season he’s had: the season his huge contract was based on. But even ignoring the stats, he’s just not fast or strong enough to be the do-everything wr who’s worth $8 million a year.

    Saying Tate isn’t as fast as Harvin is stupid–that’s like saying Wilson’s arm isn’t as strong as John Elway’s. Tate is not only fast enough, he’s fast enough to be elite. He’s got a ways to go with his routes, but he’s far from chopped liver. At this point he’s more dynamic than Rice–same TD’s, less chances.

    Even Boling noticed how dynamic he has been with his few opportunities. Carrol has talked about having to get the ball to Tate more, and Harvin, and he’s praised Baldwin: on Rice?!…. Nothing. In my opinion, the silence speaks volumes…

  42. Stevia–I would have said the same about Rice–holes in his game, disappears for whole games, lacks speed to get open consistently, not physical enough…

    With Rice, he’s a seasoned vet with hip, shoulder, knee, ankle and concussion problems…we’ve seen the best he’ll ever do, and it’s decent but not elite. Tate on the other hand is faster, more agile, tougher and a better blocker…and he’s improving rapidly and is far healthier. The key will be Tate continuing to develop into a complete we, which I think far more likely than Rice getting his speed back.

  43. Stevos! Damned autocorrect!

  44. Dukeshire says:

    I disagree that Rice “disappears for whole games”. His production was about as consistent as possible, game to game last season, wich is remarkable considering he did it with a rookie QB that early in the season, often had difficulty getting the ball out on time.

    The other part of the Rice narrative that’s gaining momentum on this blog that I question is his “lack of speed”. I don’t know what his 40 time is at this point, certainly not elite, no question there, but he consistently gets behind his coverage.

    I believe that with Wilson’s development continuing into this year and the addition of Harvin, “we’ll” have a very different opinion of Rice when this season is complete (provided he remains healthy, which is a real concern, that I agree with 100%).

  45. bbnate420 says:

    First off, 40 time isn’t the end all, be all. There’s a difference between 40 time and football speed. Rice, Jerry that is, ran a 4.6 coming OUT of college.

    I also believe that Rice played at an elite level in 2012 given the targets he was given. I have posted the stats before. If you extrapolate his targets to the level of an elite receiver, he would’ve had the stats of an elite receiver. Concerns about his health are still valid. Tate wasn’t the main focus at WR for opposing defenses. Rice was IMO. We need to see how things shake out in 2013.

  46. Rice disappeared, for whole games, and infancy did little the last 5 games of the season, when Wilson was at his best. He does not “consistently” get behind defenses at all, that’s why he’s on his way out; and why nOne of his opponents voted him onto that crappy top 100 list; he’s paid elite but doesn’t perform elite or demand elite treatment from defenses.

    Your all waiting for him to put up performances like his year with Favre; and he never will again.

  47. Bbnate; extrapolate Tate’s stats as he had more TD’s with far less opportunity!

    Crap, my last post sounds as if yanks yet hacked my account! Please ignore till I get q real computer instead of my crappy iPhone.

  48. bbnate420 says:

    STTBM, wrong again, buddy. Rice had 80 targets and 15 yards a catch. 50 catches. Tate had 68 targets and 15.3 a catch. 45 catches. They both had 7 TDs. Pretty much the same. The problem, subjective, is who was the focus of the defense? I would say Rice. We can disagree for sure, but the stats aren’t slanted one way or another overwhelmingly. I would say that Rice took pressure off the other receivers.

  49. Percy Harvin (PH) prior stats
    ’09 589 PH snaps out of 1129 total MIN offensive snaps
    DL 2-1-28(4)-0-0 DM 7-4-156(47)-2-0 DR 4-0-0(0)-0-0
    ML 4-1-16(6)-0-0 MM 24-14-252(65)-2-1 MR 3-2-43(8)-0-0
    SL 8-7-52(18)-1-0 SM 21-15-192(116)-0-0 SR 3-2-20(10)-0-0
    BL 5-5-16(33)-1-0 BM 8-8-39(71)-0-0 BR 9-7-15(29)-0-0
    MIN TE snaps: J.Kleinsasser 620, V.Shianco 739, J.Dugan 214
    SEA TE snaps: C.Morrah 4, J.Owens 190, J.Carlson 970

    ’10 650 PH snaps out of 1069 total MIN offensive snaps
    DL 2-1-11(0)-1-0 DM 9-4-137(9)-1-0 DR 4-1-53(13)-1-0
    ML 3-1-19(2)-0-0 MM 16-10-185(57)-1-2 MR 2-1-11(0)-0-1
    SL 7-5-55(39)-0-0 SM 33-24-234(132)-0-0 SR 9-7-46(22)-0-1
    BL 4-4-44(55)-0-0 BM 12-10-55(97)-1-1 BR 3-3-21(26)-0-0
    MIN TE snaps: J.Kleinsasser 514, J.Dugan 240, V.Shianco 732
    SEA TE snaps: C.Morrah 190, C.Baker 423, J.Carlson 801

    ’11 623 PH snaps out of 1051 total MIN offensive snaps
    DL 2-0-0(0)-0-0 DM 6-4-122(7)-1-0 DR 2-0-0(0)-0-0
    ML 4-2-33(5)-0-1 MM 13-10-169(35)-0-1 MR 5-3-57(13)-0-1
    SL 22-17-183(99)-1-1 SM 20-16-214(137)-2-0 SR 11-9-54(37)-1-0
    BL 4-3-21(32)-0-1 BM 16-13-81(175)-1-0 BR 13-10-41(76)-0-0
    MIN TE snaps: K.Rudolph 493, J.Kleinsasser 68, A.Reisner 12, V.Shianco 806
    SEA TE snaps: C.Morrah 170, Z.Miller 877, A.McCoy 410

    ’12 427 PH snaps out of 1156 total MIN offensive snaps
    DL 1-0-0(0)-0-1 DM 3-1-23(3)-0-0 DR 1-0-0(0)-0-0
    ML 7-3-82(33)-0-0 MM 6-5-91(26)-0-0 MR 5-3-45(2)-1-0
    SL 4-4-25(14)-0-0 SM 15-12-105(64)-0-1 SR 7-5-31(27)-1-0
    BL 4-4-34(42)-0-0 BM 24-21-221(301)-1-0 BR 4-4-20(30)-0-0
    MIN TE snaps: K.Rudolph 971, A.Reisner 7, J.Carlson 255
    SEA TE snaps: Z.Miller 882, E.Moore 104, A.McCoy 480

    Abbreviations indicate location on field:
    D = deep (20+ yds past LOS),
    M = middle depth (10-19 yds past LOS)
    S = short depth (0-9 yds past LOS)
    B = behind LOS
    L = left, M = middle, R = right
    Numbers refer to Tgts-Recpts-Yds(YAC)-TD-Int

    Percy Harvin probably won’t change SEA’s offensive use of TEs any more than he did when he came into the league and played for Daryl Bevel at MIN.

  50. Dukeshire says:

    One can say that Rice disappeared for “whole games” all they like. The game logs and tape however, do not support that claim.

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