The Philadelphia Eagles made a splash before Tuesday’s 4:00 p.m. trade deadline. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Eagles acquired wide receiver Golden Tate from the Detroit Lions in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Shortly after the news broke, the Eagles made an announcement confirming the trade. This is a huge move for Philadelphia as over the last couple of weeks, they have been connected to numerous wide receivers.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Eagles reportedly had interest in acquiring Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who was moved to the Houston Texans.
Nevertheless, the defending Super Bowl champs are receiving another reliable veteran wide receiver who can line up across the field and is a YAC (yards after the catch) machine. Since 2016, Tate ranks first among wide receivers in Total YAC (1,528), xYAC +/- (+296), and AvgxYAC +/- (+1.3), according to NFL Next Gen Stats.
However, Tate does not fill the necessary void of a vertical threat, which has been sorely missed in the Eagles’ offense this season with both Mack Hollins and Mike Wallace out with injuries.
Per NFL Next Gen Stats, Tate has the seventh lowest Average Targets Air Yards (5.8), which measures how far down the field a receiver is being targeted on average. The only other wide receiver, who has a lower TAY is Houston Texans rookie Keke Coutee, who doesn’t play as many snaps as Tate.
On Monday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reported that the Lions were receiving calls from interested teams about possibly trading for Tate, but they would have to be blown away to move him. Pelissero added that Detroit was seeking mid-round pick for the 30-year-old wide receiver.
In seven games this season, Tate has 44 receptions 69 targets) for 517 yards and three touchdowns. The veteran wideout also has two 100-yard receiving performances this year, which includes a dominating performance against the Dallas Cowboys, where he had eight receptions for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
Tate is in the last year of a five-year, $31 million deal that he signed with Detroit back in 2014 and is scheduled to make a base salary of $7 million for the rest of this season. In his five seasons with Detroit, Tate averaged at least 90 catches and a little over 1,000 receiving yards.
Along those same lines, the veteran wideout will also be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, meaning the Eagles could opt to re-sign him if he performs well. As they are currently constructed, the only wide receivers that Philly has under contract for next season is Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Shelton Gibson, and Mack Hollins.
Therefore, the Eagles could definitely use Tate for the foreseeable future, but only at the right price. Outside of another team overpaying for Tate, the only other reason why the Eagles might not be able to afford him in free agency is that Agholor’s five-year option carries a hefty cap hit of $9.4 million. But that is neither here nor there for the reigning Super Bowl champions.
As of right now, Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman believes that his team can still compete and possibly make a run at another NFC East crown.