Golden Tate Reportedly Released by Giants After 2 Seasons with Team

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 4, 2021

New York Giants' Golden Tate, right, catches a touchdown in front of Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Sean Murphy-Bunting during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)
Corey Sipkin/Associated Press

The New York Giants have reportedly released wide receiver Golden Tate, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Tate, 32, has played 11 NFL seasons for the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles and Giants, amassing 695 catches, 8,278 yards and 46 receiving touchdowns during his career. He eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards three times.

Tate signed a four-year, $37.5 million contract with the Giants during the 2019 offseason, per Over the Cap. He notably averaged 93 receptions for 1,056 yards and five touchdowns from 2014-17.

The former Notre Dame star's first season with New York ended with 49 catches, 676 yards and six touchdowns.

He was third on the team in receptions and second in yardage and scores despite playing just 11 games. Tate missed four contests due to a performance-enhancing drug violation that he claimed resulted from fertility treatments and another game after he was placed in the concussion protocol.

Tate still led the team with 85 targets despite missing five contests, but that was under an old regime led by since-fired head coach Pat Shurmur.

He wasn't featured as much under a new administration led by first-year head coach Joe Judge, who oversees a team with an offense piloted by new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. His 7.73 targets per game fell to 4.33.

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In addition, Tate played 83 percent or more of the offensive snaps in nine of 11 games during the 2019 season, per Pro Football Reference. He played more than 63 percent of the offensive snaps just twice in 12 games in 2020.

Tate's apparent anger about his decreased usage hit an apex during the Giants' 25-23 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 2.

After making a fourth-quarter catch, Tate threw the ball aside and screamed "Throw me the damn ball" toward the Giants sideline, per The Athletic's Dan Duggan.

He later screamed "throw me the damn ball!" toward ESPN cameras after making a diving touchdown catch, per ESPN's Jordan Raanan.

On that same night, Tate's wife, Elise, made the following posts on Instagram:

Word emerged from Raanan that the Giants were trying to trade Tate, but the deadline came and went without any action.

The Giants later announced Tate would not be with the team for their game against the Washington Football Team for Sunday, Nov. 8. They did not provide an official reason.

Ralph Vacchiano of SNY gave some insight: "This is punishment for Golden Tate's tumultuous week, which included him screaming for the ball (on camera) Monday night and an Instagram post from his wife that was critical of how he was being used."

Tate returned for a 27-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 10 and ultimately finished with 35 catches for 388 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games in 2020.

Sans Tate, the Giants' remaining wide receiving core includes Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, Austin Mack and Dante Pettis. That group figures to receive additions via the draft, free agency or both with Tate now gone.

Per Art Stapleton of the Bergen Record, the Giants will save over $6 million in cap space with the move.