Golden Tate Traded to Eagles; Lions Receive 3rd-Round Draft Pick

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2018

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 21:  Golden Tate #15 of the Detroit Lions looks on against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on October 21, 2018 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions traded veteran wide receiver Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles ahead of Tuesday's NFL trade deadline. 

The Eagles announced they acquired Tate and the Lions will receive a third-round draft pick in return. 

Tate offered a farewell message to the Lions on Twitter after the deal became official:

Tate's new quarterback, Carson Wentz, is excited about the addition:

Statistically, Tate has gotten off to a solid start in 2018. He caught 44 passes for 517 yards and three touchdowns in seven games to open the season. His 73.9 receiving yards per game are on pace to be a career high.

However, he boasts a 70.1 overall grade on Pro Football Focus, which is 43rd among qualified wideouts. He's also 55th at the position in DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement), per Football Outsiders.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Monday the Lions were receiving significant interest in Tate ahead of the trade deadline but that Detroit wasn't going to deal the nine-year veteran unless it got a big offer:

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Tate responded to a similar report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and seemed to dismiss the possibility he'd be leaving Detroit:

Receiving a third-round pick for a player who's a free agent at the end of the year isn't a bad return for the Lions. As Pelissero noted, though, trading Tate won't help the Lions in a tight NFC North race. Detroit may be in last place in the division at 3-4, but only one game separates the team from the first-place Chicago Bears.

While Tate isn't among the elite receivers in the NFL, he should deliver good value to Philadelphia over the second half of the year.

According to Pro Football Reference, Tate has averaged 62.0 yards per game since becoming a full-time starter in 2012, which ranks 26th among active receivers during that span. And among the 94 wideouts with at least 200 targets since 2012, he's 10th in catch rate (69.2 percent).

Even if Tate's best days are behind him—he turned 30 in August—he'll provide a level of consistency to Philadelphia's passing game.

The Eagles are trying to find a spark on offense. The defending Super Bowl champions are off to a 4-4 start in part because they rank 21st in the NFL with 22.3 points per game, a steep drop from their 28.6 average in 2017. 

Among Eagles wide receivers, Nelson Agholor ranks first with just 372 yards on 41 receptions. No receiver on the team with at least 15 catches is averaging more than 11.8 yards per reception.