Lions’ Golden Tate quells rumor being in trade talks before deadline

Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson (33) gives a high five to wide receiver Golden Tate (15) during the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Ford Field.Photo Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Sports Xchange

Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate is the subject of trade rumors, but he is trying to quell the talk by saying he doesn’t expect to go anywhere at Tuesday’s NFL trading deadline.

NFL Network reported Monday that the Lions have been fielding offers for their leading receiver and likely would need a mid-round draft pick, maybe a fourth-rounder, to trade Tate by 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Tate said he has not heard anything from the Lions about a possible deal.

“I don’t think so,” Tate told the Free Press on Monday about getting traded. “I feel like I’m a huge part of this organization and this offense especially, so hopefully that’s not the case. But again, I do understand it’s a business and if it happens then, you know, depends on where they send me.”

Tate, 30, was the subject of mild trade speculation after an 0-2 start, but the Lions have won three of their five games since to get back in the NFC North race.

“We’re right there in the mix,” Tate said.

The Lions are 3-4 and in last place in the division, but just a game behind the first-place Chicago Bears. They traded a 2019 fifth-round pick to the New York Giants for defensive tackle Damon Harrison last week in an effort to bolster their playoff chances.

Tate leads the Lions with 44 catches and 517 yards receiving this year, and is on pace for the first 100-catch season of his career and his fourth 1,000-yard season in five years with the Lions.

He is a candidate to be traded inasmuch as he is in the final season of a five-year, $31 million contract he signed with the Lions in 2014 and will be a free agent in March.

Tate said Monday he is optimistic he can get a long-term deal done to stay in Detroit and the two sides have moved “closer” to an extension since the start of the season.

“Ask (the front office about it), and then I’ll speak on it,” Tate said. “But I don’t want to be the one — I don’t want to draw too much attention in season to all that stuff.”

Tate should benefit from significant deals involving receivers such as Jarvis Landry, Sammy Watkins and Brandin Cooks. Tate said he wants the market-value deal for his next contract.

“I expect to be here and I want to be here,” he said. “But we’ll see.”

While a second NFL Network report Monday suggested the New England Patriots are among the teams interested in acquiring him, Tate said he hasn’t given any thought to the trade rumors and wasn’t aware of the reports until a reporter brought them to his attention.

“I don’t think they’re going to trade me,” Tate said. “If they do, I’ll be surprised but it’s a business so I guess we got a few hours. A few hours and we’ll see.”

–DT Damon Harrison had seven solo tackles, two tackles for a loss and a sack in his Lions debut after being traded from the New York Giants earlier last week.

–CB Teez Tabor, who was starting his second game of the season, allowed four catches on four targets for 97 yards and a touchdown.

–WR Marvin Jones Jr. caught seven passes for 117 yards and two scores. Now all three of the Lions’ top receivers — Jones, Golden Tate and Kenny Golladay — have 100-yard receiving performances this season.

–LT Taylor Decker was not on the field at the end of the game last week because of an undisclosed injury. Detroit coach Matt Patricia said Decker will be evaluated all week.

–LB Christian Jones (knee) was injured in the fourth quarter and never returned to the game.