Golden Tate is a message from management that the Eagles may be just 4-4, they may be sputtering along halfway through the season, but they're not ready to give up on this season quite yet.
This is a strong message to everybody — players, coaches, fans — that the Eagles aren't ready to concede anything to the rest of the NFL just yet.
That’s why I love this move.
Because it’s easy at 4-4 to just say, hey, you know what? It’s not our year. Let’s regroup this offseason and try again.
But one thing I really admire about Howie Roseman and his staff is that they’re always thinking aggressively.
And the reality is, the nucleus of a team that won the Super Bowl is still here, one of the most gifted young quarterbacks we’ve ever seen is still here, and when you look at the landscape of the NFC, there’s no reason to think the Eagles can’t get themselves back in this thing if they can just make a few changes.
And they just made a big one.
Tate gives the Eagles what they desperately need: Instant offense and a red-zone weapon.
Let’s look at where the Eagles are sitting here at the trade deadline and bye week.
Their defense is third-best in the NFL in touchdowns allowed and sixth-best in points allowed. They’re not a perfect unit and they’ve had a couple late-game collapses, and they need to get better, but they’ve kept the Eagles in every game this year.
The real difference between the 2017 Eagles and the 2018 Eagles has been a lack of offensive consistency. It just hasn’t been there.
The Eagles’ four losses have been by two, three, four and six points, and the Eagles scored 17, 21, 21 and 23 points in those four games.
One more weapon, one more savvy, experienced, veteran playmaking wide receiver could be the difference between those close losses and close wins.
We all saw the impact Jay Ajayi made when he got here last year. Tate can do the same thing.
What I like most about Tate is his consistency. Since 2014, he’s got the sixth-most catches in football, and his streak of four straight seasons with 90 or more catches is fifth-longest in NFL history. And he’s on pace for a fifth.
• This is a playmaker — he has 31 catches of over 30 yards since 2012, ninth-most in the league.
• This is a winner — He played for the 2013 Seahawks Super Bowl championship team and has been on five playoff teams in his eight NFL seasons.
• This is a tough dude — Tate has missed just one game since 2011, and the only other receivers who’ve missed one or no games over the last eight years are Demaryius Thomas and Larry Fitzgerald.
He can play. There’s no argument there.
The big question is whether a third-round pick is too much for a half-year rental.
Fair question. It’s a lot to give up for a guy who’s not under contract beyond this year.
But the Eagles do have an extra second-round pick next year, and that eases a lot of the pain of giving up a third-round pick.
Tate, who turned 30 in training camp, is at an age where you start to be concerned about wide receivers, but he’s on pace for 100 catches and 1,181 yards and six TDs this year. So he sure isn’t slowing down.
Not too long ago the Eagles were running Kamar Aiken, Marcus Wheaton and DeAndre Carter out there at wide receiver with Nelson Agholor, but now, they’ve got Alshon Jeffery, Agholor, Jordan Matthews and Tate, and that’s a talented group.
The price was high, but Wentz is a more dangerous quarterback today than he was yesterday. And this offense is more difficult to defend today than it was yesterday. And the Eagles are a better team today than they were yesterday.
Bring on the second half of the season. The Eagles made it clear to everybody Tuesday that the 2017 Super Bowl champs aren’t giving up on 2018 just yet.
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