With Julian Edelman turning 33 this offseason and Rob Gronkowski contemplating retirement, the New England Patriots have some decisions to make when it comes to supplying quarterback Tom Brady with enough weapons for the 2019 NFL season.
Pro Football Focus identified one free agent each NFL team should sign this offseason in a piece published Friday on ESPN.com. PFF’s pick for the Patriots: wide receiver Golden Tate.
PFF’s selections were based on which players would be ideal fits for each team, with projected cap space, needs and potential scheme fits all being considered. Here’s why PFF believes the Patriots should sign Tate, who spent last season with the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles:
Chris Hogan should be gone and Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski are aging in New England — if the latter even decides to play next season. Although Tate isn’t getting any younger himself, he proved in 2018 that he could still make defenders miss, no matter whom he was playing for. His 23 total missed tackles forced after the catch were the most among all receivers last season, as he forced 13 in seven games with the Lions and another 10 in eight games with the Eagles. Tate with the ball in space is a dangerous thing, and he’d add a reliable target for New England’s evolving underneath passing attack.
Tate, a second-round draft pick in 2010, has been a very valuable NFL wide receiver throughout his nine-year career with the Eagles, Lions and Seattle Seahawks. He caught 74 passes for 795 yards with four touchdowns last season.
Tate, who turns 31 in August, earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2014, when he totaled a career-high 99 catches for 1,331 yards with four touchdowns. He had at least 90 receptions in four consecutive seasons for the Lions from 2014 through 2017.
Tate recently said he’d “love” to play alongside Brady in New England.
Thumbnail photo via Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports Images