Philadelphia Eagles: The Golden Tate trade was (still) a mistake

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Regardless of his postseason saving touchdown catch, the Philadelphia Eagles’ decision to trade for Golden Tate will still go down as a mistake.

I’m a huge fan of Golden Tate‘s game, so when news broke that the Philadelphia Eagles had made a move at the trade deadline to procure the shifty slot, it made a whole lot of sense.

As the most effective wide receiver in the league at earning yards after the catch statistically in 2017, Tate’s big play potential looked like the missing piece to reestablishing the Eagles’ former high-flying form.

And then I saw the price. Ugh.

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After watching the Dallas Cowboys trade away a first round pick for the right to Amari Cooper, a player Howie Roseman reportedly offered a second round pick for, and the Houston Texans flip a three for Demaryius Thomas, the Eagles shipped their third round pick to the Detroit Lions for the 30-year-old former Super Bowl champion, hoping that he would have a Jay Ajayi-esque impact on the remainder of the season.

However, unlike Ajayi, who helped to bolster a running backs stable sidelined with injuries to Darren Sproles, Tate joined a receiving corps that was already being underutilized by an ineffective scheme, forging a too-many-cooks scenario that resulted in no one getting their fair share at the table.

Well, unless your name is Zach Ertz.

And statistically speaking, the move was horrible for Tate too. After hauling in 44 balls for 517 yards and three touchdowns over his first seven games of the season, Tate’s numbers plummeted in the City of Brotherly Love to the tune of 30 catches for 278 yards and a touchdown in the final eight games of the regular season.

Furthermore, Tate’s signature attribute, his yards after the catch average, dropped sizeably in Doug Pederson‘s offense, going from 11.8 in Detroit to an almost career low 9.3 in Philly.

No matter how you slice it, that’s not the production Roseman assumed he’d receive for a third rounder, not by a long shot.

But then Tate caught a vital touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Birds’ Wild Card victory over the Chicago Bears, and suddenly we have a Nick Foles 2.0 situation on our hands, even though his five catches for 46 yards finished third on the team behind Alshon Jeffery and Ertz (duh).

While that ball was crucial in what ended up being a one-point game, and very well may have saved the trade from being in the all-time worst category, it should not be used to justify a questionable move, or worse: Signing Golden Tate to a lucrative, longterm deal.

With a, shall we saw unique wide receiver market next summer, it’s very possible that Tate finished out March among the highest paid receivers in the league on a year-to-year basis, earning an eight-figure deal from a desperate team in need of pass catchers.

That should not be the Eagles.

Next. Trey Burton inactively helped to beat the Bears. dark

The cap is already going to be tight going into the summer, and with a slew of vital starters like Jordan Hicks, Brandon Graham, and Ronald Darby all set to hit the open market. If the Eagles opt to earmark a chunk of their cap space to a player like Tate, arguably their fourth best option through the air, it will only hurt the team moving forward. By simply letting Tate sign elsewhere, the Philadelphia Eagles will in all likelihood recoup a third round pick in 2020, making it almost as if this disastrous trade never happened.