Golden Tate eyes Seahawks return
Tate, set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, said in a radio interview Tuesday that he would "rather take a little less" to remain with the Super Bowl champions.
"I probably shouldn't even say this right now, but I'm going to say it anyway just because I love Seattle," Tate said on Sports Radio 950 KJR in Seattle. "Honestly, I would rather take a little less to be happy and win ballgames than to take way more and go to a crappy city where the fans don't give a crap about the team, you win a game once a month -- something like that.
"I would much rather stay in the situation that I have now for a little less than to go and try to break the bank somewhere else."
Tate, 25, hauled in 64 receptions for 898 yards -- both team highs -- and five touchdowns this season, his fourth with the Seahawks. He also was Seattle's primary punt returner, averaging 11.5 yards per return.
A second-round draft selection in 2010, Tate also said he expects to be fairly compensated.
"At the same time, I don't want to be disrespected by any means," Tate told the radio station. "I want to be able to take care of myself and my family for the rest of my life at the same time.
Honestly, I would rather take a little less to be happy and win ballgames than to take way more and go to a crappy city where the fans don't give a crap about the team, you win a game once a month -- something like that.” -- Seahawks WR Golden Tate
"We'll see. That's what I have my agent for. I plan to have some conversations with Pete [Carroll, the Seahawks' coach] and the GM [John Schneider], and hopefully we can work something out."
There's a good reason Tate would want to return to Seattle -- he has become quarterback Russell Wilson's favorite target. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Tate was targeted on 27.7 percent of his routes run, the highest rate on the team. Tate also averaged 7.8 yards after the catch per reception -- the highest YAC average by a wide receiver with at least 15 receptions this season. He also led receivers with 2.6 yards after contact per reception.
The Seahawks likely will have to make offseason roster decisions at receiver, a position where they have a bevy of talent. Aside from Tate, Seattle also has Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Percy Harvin, who missed most of the season because of injuries but was a key contributor in Sunday's Super Bowl victory over the Denver Broncos.
Thanks to the surplus at receiver, the Seahawks are likely to cut injury-plagued Sidney Rice, the NFL Network reported Tuesday. Rice, who appeared in just eight games this season, is scheduled to make $9.7 million in 2014.
Parting ways with Rice would create approximately $7.3 million in salary-cap savings for the Seahawks, who also likely will attempt to sign star defensive backs Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas to long-term deals this offseason.