Golden Tate finished first or second on the Seahawks in receiving yards, catches and receiving touchdowns last year, and he was the Seahawks' most productive receiver over the final two months of the season. But insert Percy Harvin , and Tate's targets are bound to go down.
Or maybe not, according to head coach Pete Carroll. He wants to get the ball in Tate's hands more frequently in 2013.
"Golden is really ready to be a terrific football player," Carroll said. "We love what he does, and we just have to get him the ball more and spread it around to him. ... He does different things that what Percy does. Percy is a very unique, quality guy. I think it's going to fit together just fine."
Tate is entering the final year of his rookie contract.
Although Tate said he doesn't worry about the state of his contract, he has that obvious incentive to play at a higher level with big money on the line. Yet, despite Carroll's positive frame, I think it is going to be difficult for him to vastly improve upon the 45-688-7 line he put up last year. Harvin is the top receiver in Seattle without question. Sidney Rice is going to get his fair share. And while Harvin definitely changes the look of this offense, the Seahawks aren't going to suddenly move far away from their run-first philosophy. They may not run in such abundance -- Seattle led all teams with 536 rush attempts last season -- but they will still run a lot. There just doesn't seem to be a huge opportunity for Tate to break out. If I think with great optimism, I think he could catch 65 passes for 800 yards and eight touchdowns. That would certainly accomplish Carroll's goal of getting Tate the ball more, but that's WR3 production. Tate is best drafted as a WR5.