When it comes to wide receiver Golden Tate, who currently plays for the Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll seems to be regretful on how the team handled his free agency during 2014. Tate, who previously played for the Seahawks, has thrived in Detroit, the team he signed with during that free agency period.
“We did try to bring him back,” Carroll said in a conference call with Detroit reporters. “We made an offer that didn’t get communicated really well at the time, and I think he’s a terrific player. I loved him on our team, but you can’t keep everybody, and so during the process of the negotiations, he went elsewhere.
“But our players and our coaches, we think the world of him, and he’s fun to watch. We watch him every week, and we’ll have a good time competing against him.”
When Tate was asked about the free agency process of 2014 he said; “happened so quick I don’t even know. Maybe that is what happened but I don’t know.”
The Lions eventually inked Tate to a five-year, $31 million deal with an $8 million signing bonus and he has been worth every penny. Tate is coming off his 3rd straight 90+ reception season and while he has not found the end zone as much as those numbers may suggest, he has topped 1,000 yards receiving two out of his three seasons in Detroit.
During his tenure with Seattle, Tate never topped more than 64 receptions or 898 yards receiving.
Tate said he thought the Seahawks wanted him to return. Many fans and perhaps the organization expected Tate to take less money to stay with the team he had just won a Super Bowl championship with.
“I thought they wanted me back. I thought I did everything I could to help them win a Super Bowl, was in the community, was a good guy,” he said. “But you know, it worked out. I’m happy where I am and excited about the future of this organization and hopefully I’m here for a long, long time.”
Carroll admitted that he was bothered by how Seattle handled the negotiations, mainly the communication, with Tate, feeling that the team’s interest in re-signing the wideout was not properly conveyed.
“I don’t remember those numbers at the time, but I’ll just tell you this: There was a time that Golden didn’t know that we made him an offer and he thought we didn’t, and that’s because it wasn’t communicated,” Carroll said. “I just felt bad about that. I don’t even know what the numbers were at the time, but that wasn’t even the point. We were interested in bringing him back and he didn’t get that sense from us, and I was disappointed in that.
“They were going to go higher than we were able to go anyway, and I just think the world of him. That’s my opinion of it, and at this point, I could care less about it.”
With any free-agent departure, there usually seems to be some level of backlash. Tate said the only backlash he has received from Seahawks fans are those who he referred to as “ignorant people.”
“From very ignorant people but anyone who has had an encounter with me or spent time with me and actually researched who I am as a person, I still get support,” he said.
“A lot of people reached out on my social media who are Seahawks fans and said, ‘Hey, you are my favorite player. I’m excited to see you come back to town. Unfortunately I’m going to have to root for the Seahawks but I’ll be wearing your Seattle jersey.’ It’s always good to have somewhat of a legacy like that.”