As he gains more distance from the euphoria of winning a Super Bowl, does Tate still feel the same way?
“To an extent,” Tate said Thursday, via quotes distributed by the team. “I still have to take care of myself and my family. I kind of have a number in mind, I haven’t talked to my agent yet I kind of been trying to enjoy the Super Bowl for now, and then take that next step hopefully within the next week or two once things settle down.”
And that’s when Tate will be able to understand what it specifically will mean to take less. At the Scouting Combine, when tampering season officially begins, Tate’s agent will know how much the Seahawks are willing to pay — and how much someone else is willing to pay. Then, Tate will have a few weeks to decide whether the gap is small enough to justify taking less.
“In my eyes I’d rather stay and play in a great organization, in a great city around great people, around great teammates for a little less than going to a crappy city and win a ball game every now and then and be miserable for six months and have a fan base that doesn’t care about the sport,” Tate said. “You have to give a little or take a little. We’ll see how it works out, hopefully it works out. Like I said I think I’ve done everything in my power to earn the respect and the trust of this organization. They know what they’re going to get from me; they know I’m going to work hard. The last two seasons that I’ve started I think I’ve missed a total of one game so I think I’m reliable. I know the system. I know what Coach Carroll wants so we’ll see. Hopefully things work out.”
With millions already invested in slot receiver Percy Harvin, the Seahawks may not have the money in the budget to keep Tate and Doug Baldwin, a restricted free agent. At some point, the Seahawks have to draw the line — and if that means Tate will leave they need to trust the process of finding a replacement, via free agency or the draft.
If Tate leaves, don’t look for him to rush to another NFC West team.
Still, Tate will be even more attractive to teams like the 49ers and Cardinals, who can make themselves stronger and the Seahawks weaker in one fell swoop by offering Tate significantly more than the Seahawks offer.