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NFL Trade Scenario: New York Giants Should Consider Trading for RB Ben Tate

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 11: Running back Ben Tate #44 of the Houston Texans rushes for a 2 yard touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts on September 11, 2011 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images
James DudkoFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2012

The New York Giants should strongly consider following up their trade for Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers with another swap deal, this time targeting Houston Texans running back Ben Tate.

The G-Men need to add another option to 2011's 32nd-ranked rushing attack, particularly after letting Brandon Jacobs walk in free agency. Tate is a young, bruising runner with the kind of power and quick burst that would help him excel in Big Blue's offense.

The 23-year-old spent last season deputizing for the brilliant Arian Foster and rushed for 942 yards on 175 carries. Tate added four scores, but most impressive was his 5.4 yard per carry average.

The former Auburn product has a large frame and runs with a low center of gravity. One of Tate's best attributes is that he is a quick decision-maker at the line of scrimmage.

He quickly sees where the gaps are developing in his blocking and has the sudden initial quickness to get through the hole and into the second level. The 5'11", 214-pounder is tough to bring down for linebackers and safeties in the open field.

Despite his impressive numbers in 2011, the Texans may be open to a trade. The Cleveland Browns were linked with a deal for Tate in mid-March, although that appeared to be pure speculation.

However, there is plenty to recommend the Giants exploring a potential deal with the AFC South holders. Big Blue's salary cap limits have made it hard for the team to retain core players like Jacobs and wideout Mario Manningham.

Tate has the straight-ahead quickness and power the Giants ground game is now missing
Tate has the straight-ahead quickness and power the Giants ground game is now missingThomas B. Shea/Getty Images

Yet Tate's contract is one that the team may be able to carry. According to Spotrac.com, his 2012 salary is set at $490,000, and the 2013 figure is scheduled to rise to $575,000. The issue is the kind of compensation Houston would require for the 2010 second-round pick.

However, this could also favor the Giants.

Jerry Reese could determine that there is not much value at the end of the first round of the 2012 draft. Players like Ohio State tackle Mike Adams, Stanford tight end Coby Fleener and Boise State runner Doug Martin may be deemed as borderline first-round talents.

The Giants could offer the 32nd overall pick and package it with a late-rounder in the hopes of enticing the Texans to part ways with Tate. He didn't have a carry against the Baltimore Ravens in the team's AFC divisional playoff loss.

Although Tate forms a good rotation for the Texans, Foster is the workhorse and will always receive the lion's share of the touches. The five-year, $43.5 million contract Foster signed at the beginning of March ensures that he will remain the No. 1 running back on the team.

The Texans could therefore be tempted to trade Tate before he hits unrestricted-free-agent status in two years' time.

With Ahmad Bradshaw's injury and fumbling issues, Tate could quickly stake a claim to be the main option in Big Blue's backfield.

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