I’m starting to wonder.
While expectations for guys like Aaron Curry and James Carpenter may be higher because they’re first round draft picks expected to start and produce right away, it’s pretty obvious that the Seahawks have had high hopes for Golden Tate since they picked him in the 2nd round of the draft last year (a presumptive steal at the 60th overall pick). He was a minor star at Notre Dame with all the tools to be a flashy Number 2 (or slot) receiver in the NFL.
What he has become in reality is nothing short of a huge disappointment.
Aside from that Denver game last year where he caught 1 pass for 52 yards (and returned a couple punts for 82 total yards), Golden Tate has been nonexistent. Surely we could attribute that to his being a rookie (and rookie receivers traditionally being slow to impact the NFL game), but even with rookies you hope to see progress being made as the season wears on. Golden Tate seemed to regress as the season wore on last year, with his role less defined than an amorphous Blob (and no less frightening).
This year, expectations are understandably higher for our steal of a prospect. That may or may not be fair, considering he didn’t have any semblance of NFL coaching this offseason thanks to the stupid fucking lockout. Nevertheless, he’s coming into this with a full year’s experience under his belt. And yet he’s competing with guys like Doug Baldwin and Kris Durham for the final roster spot.
It’s unnerving! Look at who we have so far who are locks to make the team:
- Sidney Rice
- Mike Williams
- Ben Obomanu
With the way Doug Baldwin is playing this season – making a serious run at that slot receiver position Golden Tate had his eyes on – and with the fact that Durham is a draft pick (and the type of tall receiver Pete Carroll loves), those could be your fourth and fifth receivers right there. That’s not even taking into account Deon Butler is still coming back from injury, and Isaiah Stanback is a freakish athlete on special teams.
So, my question remains: is there any room for Golden Tate on this football team?
It’s been proven time and time again that this team loves preaching that competition motto (starting quarterback aside) and isn’t afraid of roster turnover in the slightest. Pete Carroll has also proven that he plays no favorites with “his guys”. Granted, Tate didn’t play for Pete in college, but Tate was still one of Pete’s very first draft picks as head coach of this team. It’s safe to say any draft pick of Pete’s is one of “his guys”.
It’s also safe to say that I never know what Pete Carroll is thinking. He is as unpredictable as he is constantly upbeat. But, I would have to think that in spite of a mostly-down rookie season, and a turbulent preseason this month, Golden Tate likely will be given another chance to prove his worth. If I had to guess, I’d say this team won’t have a problem keeping Durham on the Practice Squad, thereby saving the fourth or fifth receiving job for Tate.
Nevertheless, Golden Tate absolutely MUST make strides this year towards being a pro receiver. If a guy like Doug Baldwin has taught us anything, it’s that you can get quality wide receivers from the ranks of the undrafted free agent pool. Next year is sure to give us another crop of hungry young pass catchers. And, at that point, all the promise in the world might not save a roster spot for Golden Tate.