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Tate prepares to leave Texans, become “elite” running back

Tate Getty Images

With free agency opening next week, the biggest name in the running back market belongs to Texans tailback Ben Tate.

After four years in Houston, Tate plans to become one of the top running backs in the league.

“I think I can bring you an elite running back,” Tate told Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston.  “I’ve learned a lot being behind Arian [Foster].  Definitely, when I’m healthy I think I’m an elite running back in this league, and I feel like I can show my abilities and my numbers and my play will speak for itself, and guys will be able to see that I am a guy who is a top-five running back in this league, which I believe once I get out there and get to show that on a consistent basis.”

Tate ranks as the best available running back on lists like this one, and this one, and oh let’s see this one.  He values the recognition.

“It lets me know that my hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed,” Tate said.  “Even with my limited, I guess you would say my limited amount of snaps and my limited amount of being able to be out there and play, that my talent is still recognized. It’s very much appreciated.”

Tate says he has come to terms with the fact that he’ll have to leave Houston.

“I have, I have,” Tate said. “I’m very grateful for the Texans selecting me and giving me an opportunity coming out of college.  Without a doubt I’m very grateful for that.  I just see it as a chapter closing in my life and opening a new chapter.”

The old chapter consisted of 1,992 yards in three seasons with the team, after breaking an ankle in the preseason opener of his rookie season.  In 2011, he gained 942 yards, averaging 5.4 yards per carry.

It’s unclear whether his potential production will result in a major payday.  In recent years, veteran tailbacks receive roughly $3 million to $4 million per year.  Few running backs get much more than that, because teams tend to skew younger at the tailback position.  When the 2014 season starts, Tate will be 26.

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74 Responses to “Tate prepares to leave Texans, become “elite” running back”
  1. toonloonboon says: Mar 7, 2014 11:16 PM

    cleveland would be a good lcation for him with thier line

  2. seaeagle707 says: Mar 7, 2014 11:21 PM

    Kick Gore out, bring Tate in, and the Niners will be back in business.

  3. clevelandschronic2 says: Mar 7, 2014 11:23 PM

    Hell if hes only gonna cost 3-4mil a yr the browns should take a look. Plenty of cap room, a big need at RB. Go browns

  4. rockthered1286 says: Mar 7, 2014 11:23 PM

    With a solid crop in the draft and McFadden and Jennings also UFA’s I’d be shocked if Tate landed much of a deal.

  5. billyjaguar says: Mar 7, 2014 11:24 PM

    Sign with Jax!

  6. 216orangeandbrown says: Mar 7, 2014 11:24 PM

    Come on Brownies… you have K Shananigans… perfecto match>x

  7. sumkat says: Mar 7, 2014 11:32 PM

    Maybe NO? They just dumped 2, so they could be looking for a HB

  8. prareedoggin says: Mar 7, 2014 11:37 PM

    I’ve always liked Tate, except when I had Foster on my Fantasy Squad

  9. slaugin says: Mar 7, 2014 11:55 PM

    I think Sproles will have a bigger market

  10. tsmercurio says: Mar 7, 2014 11:56 PM

    Move over BenJarvus…

  11. nykfanwakemeupin2015 says: Mar 7, 2014 11:57 PM

    When I am healthy, and some how as a back up running back you have never been healthy. Someone will over pay.

  12. titusyoung says: Mar 8, 2014 12:05 AM

    I’m ready to become an elite WR.

    -Titus Young

  13. 12thmanjosh says: Mar 8, 2014 12:09 AM

    #GoHawks

  14. browns4ever says: Mar 8, 2014 12:13 AM

    Attn: Ray Farmer, GM Cleveland Cleveland Browns

    TB Ben Rate is available, I’m guessing you already know.

  15. xjippyx says: Mar 8, 2014 12:14 AM

    Come on Titans, sign him and release CJ.

  16. purpleforroyaltygreenandgoldforbugars says: Mar 8, 2014 12:26 AM

    If this guy plans on becoming elite, what will that make Adrian Peterson?!

  17. cluelessdufus says: Mar 8, 2014 12:28 AM

    Tate has shown flashes of being a capable starting running back. He also has injury problems and has been playing in limited touches, so he obviously hasn’t had a full workload for a season, and adding his injury problems, its maybe a risk, but one some should be willing to take.

  18. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 8, 2014 12:28 AM

    The supply of RBs is also high relative to the Underemployment Rate of the United States. Good luck Mr. Ben whose last name is not Franklin.

  19. reed20fence says: Mar 8, 2014 12:32 AM

    Come back to your hometown in Baltimore.

  20. t8ertot says: Mar 8, 2014 12:37 AM

    Bengals

  21. juliusanonymous says: Mar 8, 2014 12:54 AM

    Now THIS is the kind of player the Seahawks go after. This kid is going to be special. C’mon Schneider, pick up the phone and make it happen. Trade Turbin for a 3rd, and stick Tate back there with Lynch. Holy cow, that would be an unstoppable combo. Someone’s gonna pay him though. He’s right, he will be elite.

  22. victorycruz says: Mar 8, 2014 12:58 AM

    Would love to have you come join the Giants if the price is right. You, Andrea Brown as the #2, and if health Wilson at #3 I would love that tandem. Then draft some good o-lineman, I feel the Giants offense can be top 5 in the NFL. Just my opinion though, and it may seem biased, but even if Nicks leaves (which is most likely gonna happen) we’ll still have Cruz, Randle, Jernigan, and whoever else at the #4 WR position, we’ll be good. Only thing we’d need after that is a decent TE. Nothing too crazy, but something def better than Myers.

  23. borisbulldog says: Mar 8, 2014 1:03 AM

    Tate will be shocked when he finds out (via low ball offers) that NFL teams prefer to go young via the draft for a RB position that chews up players after 3-4 years.

  24. joro5551 says: Mar 8, 2014 1:06 AM

    Long injury history…

  25. crownmethegoat says: Mar 8, 2014 1:11 AM

    Cle or zona would be the top options with Mia or nyj as a fall back option, i hope he doesnt expect to get paid tho cause the days of overpaying a rb are over

  26. kehav1 says: Mar 8, 2014 1:22 AM

    I like(d) Tate, he is a pretty tough runner…he was underutilized by texans and by injuries..overall he is #1 back..

  27. chaseutley says: Mar 8, 2014 1:26 AM

    Ben is good. Elite? It entirely depends upon where he ends up.

  28. bearshaterseverywhere says: Mar 8, 2014 1:33 AM

    Whatever…..Sure there, pal!

  29. siggtacular says: Mar 8, 2014 1:44 AM

    Ravens 2 Super Bowls since 96

    Joe ‘Montana’ Flacco Super Bowl MVP

  30. ohioteamsusuallysuck says: Mar 8, 2014 1:48 AM

    Welcome to Cleveland. Browns are playoff bound

  31. ramitbaby says: Mar 8, 2014 2:20 AM

    Tate = Injury Report All Pro.

  32. jeremycrowhurst says: Mar 8, 2014 2:51 AM

    He’s right. He is (or at least was) elite — when healthy.

    Unfortunately, that caveat is as wide as the a Grand Canyon….

  33. rhoadsmike says: Mar 8, 2014 3:13 AM

    Let’s get him suited up in the Red & Gold!

  34. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Mar 8, 2014 3:42 AM

    The jets need to sign him and pair him with w/e his name is and BILAL POWELL. (Fantasy team name).

    I’ve seen this guy and followed him in the NFL. He’s a jets type of player all the way.

    I know its not the best idea for rbs but if he signed a decent 1 year deal and went out and went off for a good year. He could get paiddd the next season.

  35. tdubdizzle says: Mar 8, 2014 4:25 AM

    I wonder how he will do in a power blocking scheme. The Raiders have the need to fill but don’t run the same scheme as he’s used to. He would make a lot of sense in Oakland with Rashad Jennings and Latavius Murray.That would be a pretty good backfield with a lot of promise.

  36. joetoronto says: Mar 8, 2014 4:33 AM

    I don’t know about “elite”, but he’s damn good.

  37. plum13sec says: Mar 8, 2014 5:38 AM

    Colts

  38. ftownbrown says: Mar 8, 2014 6:28 AM

    Would be happy to have you in Cleveland, Ben.

  39. ravenswhat says: Mar 8, 2014 6:56 AM

    Ozzie, you know what to do brother man. And Tate is from Maryland.

  40. justareasonablevoice says: Mar 8, 2014 7:11 AM

    He would do well with the Giants.
    We could use him and if he joined the the Giants he would be on an immediate contending team.
    The Giants are due to win another Super bowl.

  41. bennyb82 says: Mar 8, 2014 7:14 AM

    Tate should probably sign a 1 or 2 year deal because it’s hard to imagine a team paying huge bucks with his limited action. If he signs a contract any longer he will be close to 30 and could miss out on a big payday if he puts up big numbers. Or he could just holdout…

  42. tanstewie says: Mar 8, 2014 7:27 AM

    Browns!

  43. puckthefatriots says: Mar 8, 2014 7:36 AM

    He has never proven to be a top 5 Running Back. I hope he doesn’t expect to get paid like one.

  44. whatdoesjimmiefoxxsay says: Mar 8, 2014 7:38 AM

    Did he mean “top 5 on his team” or “top 5 in the state of Texas” ?

  45. gtskyrider says: Mar 8, 2014 7:41 AM

    Jaguars next running back

  46. peytonsneck18 says: Mar 8, 2014 7:43 AM

    dude isnt a franchise or #1 runningback, u wont get the big bucks u think u deserve

  47. patriotsarespygaters says: Mar 8, 2014 7:44 AM

    this is the patriots fault they allowed him to score 3TDs in one game

  48. mrbigass says: Mar 8, 2014 7:56 AM

    If he can stay healthy, he would be a asset to a team. If not…….

  49. calhounlambeau says: Mar 8, 2014 7:57 AM

    Whenever he did get the chance to play he would get injured. I’m sure teams are really excited to overspend on him when they could just find some kid in the 4th round of the draft to find a hole and run through it.

  50. bewaredware says: Mar 8, 2014 8:06 AM

    4 yrs/12 million. Not a penny more. I’d rather draft one.

  51. baltimorept says: Mar 8, 2014 8:08 AM

    Come back home to Maryland.
    The Ravens w Kubiak would be ideal

  52. thefootballgodssay says: Mar 8, 2014 8:13 AM

    GIANTS

  53. coonsqualler says: Mar 8, 2014 8:15 AM

    Wow…What a deal. We trade away a bust of a RB for a 1st round pick, then still get a franchise RB through free agency. This team is taking shape, Finally!

    Welcome to Cleveland Tate!

    Just Sayin’…Go Brownies!

  54. fordwuzanazi says: Mar 8, 2014 8:36 AM

    Look out for the Ravens on this one. Kubiak is there now and Ray Rice may be on the outs.

  55. qdog112 says: Mar 8, 2014 8:42 AM

    This shapes up well for Tate. He is a low tread-wear, very experienced RB, who can be a feature RB, anywhere. He runs very well, blocks well and can catch the ball.

    At 26, he has had no lower extremity injuries, so he can be an every down guy. There are only a handful of teams that he wouldn’t upgrade. If teams wanna go on the cheap, they will make a mistake on Tate.

    I’m convinced he can be elite. Because he’s been in a time-share, he can play past the prime of the average RB.

  56. ovaw8lova says: Mar 8, 2014 8:48 AM

    Tate has the ability to be an elite RB but dude cannot stay healthy. He was often injured as a backup. I have a hard time thinking he will receive a huge contract. But he does fit the mold of several zone run blocking teams.

  57. lennydpocketqb says: Mar 8, 2014 8:51 AM

    26? He only has 3 years left.

  58. tdubdizzle says: Mar 8, 2014 8:55 AM

    Ben Tate to the Packers. It just makes too much sense.

  59. lenbias34pt says: Mar 8, 2014 8:56 AM

    Interesting angle::

    His Offensive coaches are in B More now, and they do need a RB.

    IF Kubiak, Dennison and Ozzie go after Tate than he is a high character guy. If not, stay clear.

    Ozzie is normally a good guy to follow to get good grades.
    What FA’s have the Ravens let go that have succeeded for another team?

    That said, he whiffs on WR, and Huff and Spears where terrible additions last season.

  60. ✦ Pittsburgh is the City of Champions ✦ says: Mar 8, 2014 8:59 AM

    There’s nothing elite about Tate.

  61. jrs45 says: Mar 8, 2014 9:17 AM

    Cleveland!

  62. berniemadoffsides says: Mar 8, 2014 9:25 AM

    ATL would make sense. He’d be great in that blocking O.

  63. pantherfan40 says: Mar 8, 2014 10:20 AM

    big sleeper wish panthers could some how get rid of stewart and pick him up but aint gunna happen

  64. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 8, 2014 10:46 AM

    Everyone is looking to fill the void created by Adrian Peterson’s decline. Peterson hasn’t even been able to finish the season in 2 of the last 3 years.

  65. ytownjoe says: Mar 8, 2014 11:13 AM

    Hmmmmm . . . Ben Tate or Carlos Hyde with a rookie contract?

  66. laxcoach37 says: Mar 8, 2014 11:21 AM

    Obviously every comment is this guy for their Teamm but here is the reality- Falcons, Browns, Giants, Dolphins, Ravens have needs in that order. He will get in the $4M range 3/4yr, not becuase he deserves it, but because that is the reality of this FA pool this year. MJD is too old and does not fit most schemes. A general power back is needed now and he can block.

  67. bluenose1965 says: Mar 8, 2014 11:29 AM

    Interesting POV from other fans.

    I’ve seen every play of his NFL career. The Ben Tate rookie RB ran violently and looked to be a potential #1 back. He ran through tackles more often than not.

    Since his first injury, he’s run much more gingerly, usually going down on first or second contact. He was a good compliment to Arian Foster, but I just don’t see him as a #1 back in the NFL.

  68. slingingsh1t says: Mar 8, 2014 11:30 AM

    Key phrase “when healthy” and that has never happened.

  69. foolmeonce says: Mar 8, 2014 12:46 PM

    Tough runner, prone to injury. High risk if you’re giving him big money.

  70. jmblosser82 says: Mar 8, 2014 12:56 PM

    Would not be surprised to see him in a ravens uni

  71. texansfalcons says: Mar 8, 2014 1:34 PM

    A great sub when Arian got hurt, but he is a bit injury prone.

  72. mediasloppy says: Mar 8, 2014 1:34 PM

    I rather have Toby Gerhart for a lot cheaper price.

  73. johnnyjagfan says: Mar 8, 2014 1:57 PM

    Foster’s toast. Houston should keep Tate. But they are Houston so they will screw this one up, too.

  74. rohlo says: Mar 8, 2014 2:05 PM

    love is heart,but fact is he has been injured basically every season he has played.. thats a red flag! hes no good to a team if he isnt healthy.you cant be elite while standing on the sidelines in street clothes.

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