Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia told reporters on Wednesday that the team was taking a big picture view when it traded wide receiver Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles sent a third-round pick on Tuesday to the Lions (3-4), who are just one game behind the first-place Chicago Bears (4-3) in the NFC North.
Patricia defended the move, noting other times that teams were able to continue to win despite trading away established players.
“When we evaluate everything we do as a franchise, we think there is certain value we can get at times during the season that will help us long term,” Patricia said, via MLive.com. “And we obviously have faith and confidence in the people that are on this team right now.
“So we put all that into play and try to make sure we’re making the best decision we can in that moment, and it’s hard — it’s very difficult — when you’re in that one-game-at-a-time mind set. And that’s where we are from the standpoint, it’s week to week for us and that’s good, but there’s also a big picture here that we keep an eye on as we move forward, and that’s something we have to consider when we make all these decisions — whether it’s during the season, during the offseason, free agency, draft, whatever it is. Those are difficult decisions whenever they come.”
Tate led the team in receptions (44) and receiving yards (517) while also scoring three touchdowns this season. Fellow wideouts Kenny Golladay has 30 catches for 477 yards and three scores while Marvin Jones Jr. had 26 receptions for 387 yards and a club-best five touchdowns.
The 30-year-old Tate, who will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, was on pace for the first 100-catch season of his career and his fourth 1,000-yard campaign in five years with the Lions.
“On behalf of our entire organization, I would like to sincerely thank Golden for his countless contributions to our team during his time as a Detroit Lion,” Lions general manager Bob Quinn said in a statement Tuesday.
“For more than four years Golden displayed an unwavering commitment to not only his coaches and teammates, but also the City of Detroit. The impact he made on and off the field set an example for our team and serves as a testament to his character.
“We wish Golden and his family the very best in the next step of his career.”
Selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Tate has collected 581 receptions for 6,936 yards and 37 touchdowns during his career. He has also added 28 catches for 318 yards and two touchdowns in nine postseason games.