Tom Pelissero of NFL.com recently reported that the Detroit Lions were looking to part with wide receiver Golden Tate for a mid-round pick. Tate just recently turned 30 in August but most would argue that the wideout is still in the prime of his career.
Whenever these types of reports come out, it’s always fun to ask if the Chargers would benefit from making such a move in the middle of the season.
At face value, it wouldn’t make a ton of sense for Telesco to make this move. Tate would not be signed to a new deal following the season and would essentially become a nine-game rental for the Bolts. Would he be an upgrade to one of the wide receiver slots? Yes, but I don’t think it would be enough of an upgrade to warrant losing a draft pick. There are other positions in which the Chargers may feel the need to go “all-in” on this season, but wideout is not one of them.
I decided to pick the brains of a few staff members with this idea and here’s what I got in return:
From Ruben Gonzalez: “After thinking about this over the night and despite the obvious upgrade Tate would bring, I’m going to say no to this trade if for nothing else to hold out hope that a 4th Rd pick could get an upgrade at TE or the Defensive Line. Chargers need more help there.”
From Cole Thompson: “The Chargers have seemed to be willing to part ways with Tyrell Williams according to reports. Minus the past two games, Williams has been a massive disappointment as the team’s deep threat. I’m not sold on Tate being the best option, however. The 30-year-old receiver is only averaging 5.4 yards per reception through the air according to NexGen Stats. The Chargers need that deep threat rather than another Keenan Allen who is averaging just 8.2 yards per reception through the air. If it’s a 5th round pick, do it to build the offense. Any higher I would hope that Williams just continues his recent success
Adding a TE would be a smarter option since Virgil Green has under-performed.”
From Daniel Stebbins: “No, I wouldn’t make the trade. The WR group is already a bit crowded as it is now. Trading for someone who would be a 9 game rental, as well as the oldest WR on the team as he’s already 30, doesn’t seem like a sound decision. The WR group is already looking at having to re-sign Tyrell and hopefully release Benjamin. I don’t see the likelihood of spending resources on extending Tate to be very high, something I don’t think would be advisable anyway. The potential upside here over what is already a good group appears insignificant, all factors being taken in to consideration.”
However, it looks like Tate, himself, isn’t buying into the rumors that are spreading across social media:
What you talking about Willis?— Golden Tate (@ShowtimeTate) October 29, 2018
After the Lions recently traded a mid-round pick in return for the Giants’ Damon Harrison, a subsequent trade of Tate would only signal to the rest of the league that the Lions are giving up on the season.
I'll be shocked if the Lions trade away Golden Tate for a ~4th round pick. They're 3-4, just traded for 30yo Damon Harrison and Tate is handling a 27% target share. Would be a weird time to move on unless you're giving up.— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) October 29, 2018
As things stand now, it all looks to be a lot of speculation. But this is the NFL, and until 4pm Eastern comes and goes, anything is possible.