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Golden Tate signs with Lions
One priority down, and one that got away.
Before the NFL free-agency period began Tuesday, Seahawks general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll had listed retaining sack leader Michael Bennett and leading receiver Golden Tate as priorities.
Bennett was re-signed Monday, but Tate on Wednesday opted to sign with the Detroit Lions, the team’s website announced. Tate also confirmed the details of the contract to ESPN: five years, $31 million, with $13.25 million guaranteed.
Tate also averaged 11.5 yards on 51 punt returns last season for the Super Bowl champion Seahawks.
His critics continue to point out that Tate is not a true No. 1 receiver, but he won’t have to be with the Lions because of the presence of Calvin Johnson, who has caught at least 77 passes while averaging 1,564 receiving yards the past four seasons – including career-highs of 122 catches for 1,964 yards in 2012.
One thing Tate won’t get from the Lions is the No. 81 he wore with the Seahawks, because that’s Johnson’s number in Detroit.
The emergence of Jermaine Kearse last season and continuing improvement of Doug Baldwin will help the Seahawks adjust to the loss of Tate – as will getting a full season from Percy Harvin, who played in one regular season game and two playoff games after being acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings last March.