Unrestricted free agents-to-be are now less than a week away from being able to sign contracts with new teams. They can even begin negotiating with other teams as early as Saturday.
Wide receiver Golden Tate is one of the bigger names that will hit unrestricted free agency for the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks next week. General manager John Schneider mentioned Tate and defensive end Michael Bennett as the highest priorities for the team to re-sign among their own free agents at the NFL combine.
But while Bennett appears to be in contract with the team, Tate hasn’t heard much as of yet.
“Right now it’s been pretty chill. I haven’t heard too much.” Tate said in an interview with Alex Marvez and Bill Polian on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “I’ve kind of just trusted in my agent and him being good at his work. Todd (France) has had some great deals in the past and so I’m letting him handle it. Just trying to stay stress free and really enjoying being a Super Bowl champ.”
Bennett clearly appears to be the top priority for Seattle. The team released defensive end Red Bryant and receiver Sidney Rice to free up additional cap space this offseason in hopes of bringing Bennett back, and still have funds to potentially give extensions to Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman.
That leaves Tate having to wait his turn. The Philadelphia Eagles re-signed Riley Cooper to a five-year, $25 million deal that could help set the market for receivers. Tate has been more productive than Cooper throughout each of their four years in the league and would likely command more on the open market.
But for Tate, he says the hard work is in the past.
“At the end of the day, I did my job,” Tate said. “I performed on the field. I made plays. I helped my team win, At this point, I’m just thinking everything is going to work out. It’s going to work out the way it should work out regardless of whether it’s in Seattle or elsewhere. Obviously, I would like to be in Seattle but the hard part is over. I did my job, I handled my business. I stayed healthy and was reliable all year. Each year I’ve shown to be better than the last.
“With that being said, I’ve done my part so I can’t really worry about it.”
Tate caught 64 passes for 898 yards last season – both career-highs – and five touchdowns for Seattle. He also had 51 punt returns for 585 yards on the year.