NFL: Philadelphia Eagles trade for Golden Tate

The defending Super Bowl champions are wheeling and dealing in hopes of making a playoff push and an eventual return to the Super Bowl. The Philadelphia Eagles acquired wide receiver Golden Tate from the Detroit Lions for a third-round draft pick.

The nine-year veteran is in the midst of a season that has already seen him amass 517 yards receiving and find his way to the end zone three times. In his nearly four and a half years in Detroit, Tate has proven to be one of the leagues top receiving threats and was a consistent target for Matthew Stafford as the two combined for nearly 5,000 yards together in that time.

For the Philadelphia Eagles, this move keeps them in line with the ever-progressing narrative across the league that quarterbacks and receivers are a rising trend. Tate joins a receiving core that already is home to the likes of Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz. Despite the talent at receiver and the MVP caliber of Carson Wentz, the Philadelphia offense has taken a step back ranking in the bottom 15 in every major offensive category this season.

Tate will bring a versatility to an offense that is in need of a jumpstart. The Eagles have already lost receiver Mike Wallace and running back Jay Ajayi on the season, two roles that Tate can fill. Under Head Coach Doug Pederson the Eagles have used a committee running game, led by Wendall Smallwood who has only 257 yards rushing on the season. While it is unlikely to see him getting carries up the middle, Tate has the ability to line up out of the backfield especially on third down.

For the Detroit Lions, trading away sends a signal to the team, the fanbase and most importantly to Stafford. The Lions are punting on their season. Tate, a free-agent at seasons end will likely demand a sizeable payday and just letting him walk for nothing is never ideal. Trading him though shows that the team believes that even with him at (3-4) they are in the midst of a lost-season.

The Lions Vice President and General Manager released the following statement following the trade:

“On behalf of our entire organization, I would like to sincerely thank Golden for his countless contributions to our team during his time as a Detroit Lion.

“For more than four years Golden displayed an unwavering commitment to not only his coaches and teammates, but also the City of Detroit. The impact he made on and off the field set an example for our team and serves as a testament to his character.

“We wish Golden and his family the very best in the next step of his career.”

A player as productive as Tate is unlikely to be found with the third round pick it took to acquire him. It’s back to the drawing board for the Lions while the Eagles are looking to draw up a plan that puts them back in the thick of things in a playoff hunt.

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