According to Adam Schefter, wide receiver Riley Cooper’s new deal with the Philadelphia Eagles is for 5 years and $25 million, with $10 million guaranteed.
Over the Cap makes the smart point that Cooper’s deal is essentially for two years at $9 million total to be a No. 2 receiver. They also argue that the basically $6 million per (five years, almost $31 million) that Brian Hartline received last year from the Dolphins may be the ceiling for No. 2 receivers.
“For players such as Golden Tate and Emmanuel Sanders, who are free agents this year, the Cooper contract does little to give confidence that they can move past Hartline in terms of contract value in free agency. Despite the rumored increase in cap room he came towards the lower end of the WR2 marketplace. Odds are that’s a sign of how most teams will be viewing these players when free agency begins.”
However, Tate, who is an unrestricted free agent, and Cooper are certainly not an apple-to-apple comparison. The systems for each are completely different and Tate has a large added value as a punt returner. He’s also durable.
In addition, the Seahawks talked about Tate just beginning to develop into a complete receiver. As did Tate.
“I’ve learned that this game is more than just athleticism,” Tate told the TNT during the season. “It’s more than just going out there and making plays. You’ve got to, especially as a young guy, earn the trust. Believe it or not, the NFL is going to go on with or without you. And, they’ll forget about you quickly. So, it’s always a constant grind trying to prove yourself. Fortunately I was drafted so I had more chances than undrafted guys. But, you always have to keep grinding.
“When I envision myself playing the game, I always want to make someone who’s not a fan of football become a fan of football. My style of play, I’m an exciting player, you never know what you are going to get from me. I could run from one side of the field to the other. At any moment, I could dive into the end zone. I just like to have fun out there. I feel like that is one thing this league is learning about me. Unfortunately, the rules are way more strict than when I was growing up. Everything you do, you get fined, but, just being a playmaker, really.”
He led the Seahawks in receptions and receiving yards last season, plus tied for the team lead with five receiving touchdowns.
“I’ve done what I needed to do to set myself up, regardless if it is here or elsewhere,” Tate told me toward the end of the regular season.