As the NFL settles back into normalcy following the pandemonium of the annual trade deadline, the reigning Super Bowl champion Eagles emerge from the frenzy with a new weapon as they brace for the second half of the season. Just a few short hours before the 4 PM deadline, trade guru and Eagles general manager Howie Roseman acquired ex-Lions receiver Golden Tate for a 2019 third-round draft pick.
The move- albeit a bit surprising considering the Lions are only one game out of first place in the NFC North- represents a huge upgrade for Philadelphia. Tate is an absolute terror with the ball in his hands and has a game-breaking ability not seen in Philly since DeSean Jackson.
Before I dive into the myriad of reasons to be excited about Tate in Eagle green, I’d first like to commend Roseman for not allowing the Super Bowl hype and recent win in London to muddle his perception of the team and make him complacent. With the Eagles sitting at .500 halfway through the season, Roseman realized the team needed a spark if they were to emulate the championship swagger of 2017 in the second half- so he simply made a move. It may have seemed like the obvious play, as the Eagles have already accumulated more losses through eight weeks than the entirety of last season, but it would have been very easy for Roseman to punt at the deadline and put faith in an admittedly strong roster. Alternatively, however, the calculated general manager decided to remain aggressive and make a move that makes the Eagles a significantly better team. Roseman’s aforementioned confidence and championship moxie were on full display at yesterday’s presser when he stated:
“The message to our fans, to our players, to our coaches, to everyone in this organization is our foot’s always going to be on the gas.”
If winning championships is truly the ‘new norm’ in Philly, it starts with Roseman remaining actively involved in the trade market as he looks for creative ways to bolster the roster. Tuesday’s deadline deal for Tate was just the latest example in a long line of genius moves by the savvy general manager.
Let’s not forget that this time one year ago, Roseman went out of his way to acquire Jay Ajayi from the Miami Dolphins in a. similar fashion. The rest, as they say, was history. Ajayi was a key cog in the team’s iconic Super Bowl run, amassing 408 rushing yards in the final half of the season before amassing 184 postseason yards, averaging over 4 yards per carry. While Ajayi’s impact has been minimal this season, it’s safe to say that a mid-round draft pick was a small price to pay for helping to add a completely new element to the Eagles offense, taking the weight off of Blount’s shoulders.
As far as how Doug Pederson will utilize the dynamic Tate, keep an eye out for the site’s lead writer and editor Liam Jenkins’ Eagles Film Room YouTube video on Tate dropping this Friday for in-depth film analysis, but I’ll give you the SparkNotes version of what Tate brings to the team to hold you over till then:
For starters, Tate’s toughness and elusiveness make him an incredibly difficult target to bring down after the catch. In fact, Tate has been THE most difficult player to bring down after the catch since 2014, leading all NFL players in broken tackles and YAC:
Tate never settles for the initial gain and is constantly exploring ways to earn additional yardage. He is not the fastest train at the station but is a quick-twitch, springy athlete who uses precise route-running and high football IQ to find holes in the defense and get behind defenders. Something Morgan Burkett broke down today:
Eagles fans should be ecstatic about the addition of the electric wideout and be grateful that Roseman was able to snag him at a reasonable cost. Surrounding Carson Wentz with elite talent should always be on the agenda, but it was increasingly important this season as the Eagles try to fend off the greatly improved NFC in their quest for a Super Bowl repeat.
Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports