Philadelphia announced the deal, but not the compensation. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it’ll be a third-round pick headed to the Lions, who get a decent return for a player who was finishing up the final year of his contract.
Tate, 30, began his career over a four-year span with the Seattle Seahawks before signing a five-year, $31 million deal with the Lions. He lived up to the price tag with three 1,000-yard seasons and a Pro Bowl year in 2014. Through seven games in 2018, he has 44 receptions for 517 yards and three touchdowns.
Why did the Eagles make the trade?
Carson Wentz is back to his ridiculous form with 13 touchdowns and two interceptions in six games so far this year. But despite his play, the Eagles just aren’t putting many points on the board. They’re No. 21 in scoring and have managed to score more than 24 points just once.
The receiving corps is part of the reason for those difficulties. Halfway through the season, tight end Zach Ertz is the only player on the team with more than 400 receiving yards as Alshon Jeffery has dealt with injuries and Nelson Agholor still hasn’t lived up to his first-round draft billing.
Adding Tate gives the Eagles a much-needed weapon and should free up Jeffery on the other side.
Why did the Lions make the trade?
This is the more surprising side of the deal, because Detroit is still very much in the mix of a wild NFC North that has no clear frontrunner. While they’re last in the division, the Lions are just a game out of first and have a win over the Packers and a chance in the next two weeks to play the Vikings and Bears.
The logic of the deal is Tate was down to the last nine games of his contract and the Lions shipped it off before it expired. They likely would’ve received a compensatory pick in 2020 if he left in free agency, but instead they’ll get a third-round pick in 2019. That’s a decent return considering he’s 30, but it won’t help Detroit make a run at the playoffs this year.
Detroit is banking on 2017 third-round pick Kenny Golladay has gained plenty of experience in his second NFL season and Marvin Jones will step into the vacated spotlight.
Marvin Jones is about to explode down the stretch. Golden Tate's departure opens up 27% of team targets. Jones already holds the #Lions lead in air yards (41%), end zone targets (13; 54% share), and inside-the-ten targets (32%).— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) October 30, 2018
With Kerryon Johnson making the rushing game work for the Lions, the team may continue to produce the same amount of offensive output even after losing Tate. Or at least, that’s going to be their hope.