You knew Howie Roseman wasn’t going to sit on his hands as the NFL trade deadline approached.
Sure enough, the Eagles executive vice president of football operations made a deal, acquiring wide receiver Golden Tate from the Detroit Lions for a third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft just a few hours before the trade deadline arrived at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
“We’re really excited to bring him to Philly. He fits what we do offensively, fits what we do from a character perspective, and (we) can’t wait to get him in here and for everyone in Philly to see what we’re getting,” said Roseman.
Tate, who began his career as a second-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, has 44 catches this season for 517 yards (11.8 yards per catch average) and three touchdowns. By Comparison, the Eagles top receiver (not named tight end Zach Ertz) is Nelson Agholor who has 38 catches for 323 yards (8.5 ypc) and one TD.
“For us, that’s another part of the excitement of bringing in this guy: his inside-out versatility,” said Roseman. “It’s the same with Nelly; he has inside-out versatility. Alshon (Jeffery) lines up inside and out. Our coaches have a game plan for all of those guys and certainly (for) our tight ends in the middle of the field and the damage that they can do … So we want to be multiple on offense; we want to be a handful for defensive coordinators.”
Tate has had four straight seasons with 90 or more receptions and is bidding for his fourth straight 1,000-yard receiving season.
To make room for him on the 53-man roster, the Eagles released defensive tackle Bruce Hector.
The acquisition of Tate, who is 30, could simply be as a rental for the final eight regular season games and the postseason should the Eagles it there.
“The price is what it is,” said Roseman. “When you look around the league and what the market is for these guys, there is no one more productive than Golden Tate in the last … Since 2012, he’s in the top 10 in receiving yards, receptions. His run-after-the-catch numbers are phenomenal – they’re always at the top of the league. So, we’re really excited to get him.
“You’re always trying to get the best price. There is no doubt about it. But we’re not trying to win the trades. We’re trying to get really good players. The message to our fans, to our players, to our coaches, to everyone in this organization is our foot is always going to be on the gas. We’re always trying to win. We’re always going to try to put our best foot forward. What we can do now is try to do that for this season and this moment. That’s what we’re going to do and that’s our responsibility.”
Tate, who is 5-10, 202 pounds, has registered 581 receptions for 6,936 yards (11.9 avg.) and 37 touchdowns during his nine-year career. He has also added 28 catches for 318 yards and two touchdowns in nine postseason games. Since entering the league in 2010, Tate leads the NFL in yards after the catch (3,910) and his 581 receptions are the ninth-highest total in the league.
Clearly, the Eagles wouldn’t have traded for him if they didn’t think they could win the NFC East, make the playoffs and try to make a run at defending their Super Bowl title.
“Has everything gone exactly the way we thought this year?” said Roseman. “No, I don’t think any season does. But we think we have a really good football team and we are adding a really good player.
“Again, we are going to keep our foot on the gas and that’s our message. That’s our message to our fans and that’s our message to our organization. We are not going to sit on our hands. When you get an opportunity – it’s hard to find really good players and this is a really good player, who really fits this culture, this community and this city. He’s a hard-working, determined guy with a lot of passion and a lot of energy. What he does with the ball in his hands is special.”