- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Lions, lying in wait for this new year...
It took a day, but the Detroit Lions nabbed one of their top priority free agents and solved a major need at the same time.
Detroit signed Golden Tate to a five-year deal Wednesday afternoon, immediately giving the Lions a sure-handed No. 2 receiver to balance Calvin Johnson and the jolt the team might need to free Johnson up from double and triple teams.
But what did Detroit really get? To find out, I reached out to my colleague who covers Seattle, Terry Blount, for a quick scouting report on Tate. Here are some of this thoughts.
"He has exceptional hands and will make the tough catch. Rarely drops a pass. He is a much better blocker than most people would expect for a man his size and he isn’t shy about taking on much bigger players, like outside linebackers," Blount wrote. "He’s not a burner, but he can beat his man deep and he is excellent and gaining separation and making yards after the catch, which may be his biggest asset.
"He blossomed in 2013 as the team’s punt returner, but he is a risk taker. He fielded balls several times inside the 10, and usually, made it work.
"Maybe most importantly, he grew up in 2013 after the taunting incident in the St. Louis game. It was a real turning point in him as an individual and led to him becoming a true team leader."
So that's a start to give you an idea of what the Lions are receiving with their first major free agent haul of the year.
Now, a look at Lions news -- Tate and otherwise -- from around the Interwebs:
A look at Golden Tate's visit that led to his signing. Tate fixed a pressing need almost immediately. Tate signs with Detroit. Joique Bell's "one day" finally arrives. Other notes from Bell's news conference. Other players have visits to Detroit.
Martin Mayhew watched Anthony Barr at UCLA's pro day, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Ndamukong Suh not negotiating right now, reports Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News.
Bell was overwhelmed with emotion, writes Kyle Meinke of MLive.
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