Training camps are set to fire up in a few weeks once players return from their summer break, and there is still a select amount of solid talent left in free agency to sift through. One such talent is wide receiver Golden Tate, who remains without an NFL home after being released by the New York Giants earlier this offseason. The 32-year-old not only wants to continue playing, but he's got at least three teams in mind as he searches for his next uniform.
"I would love to go back home to Tennessee," Tate told SiriusXM NFL Radio. "Indy -- over with Carson Wentz. Obviously, the L.A. Rams would be fantastic with [Matthew] Stafford. I had my best years with Stafford. I really like the entire NFC West, to be honest."
Tate and Stafford spent several seasons together with the Detroit Lions, before Tate was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018 in exchange for a third-round pick. That stay was short-lived, however, as he then signed a four-year, $37.5 million deal with the Giants in 2019 -- now released just two years into that contract. He's battled availability problems, a downturn in production and off-the-field issues in recent seasons, but his best seasons came with Stafford under center.
In four seasons catching passes from Stafford, Tate reeled in a total of 4,224 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns and earned him his one and only Pro Bowl nod (2014) in the process.
That said, it's understandable he'd love to reunite with Stafford, but there's a plot twist involved, and its name is Jalen Ramsey. It's no secret Tate and Ramsey have bad blood -- one that runs deep and literally ties into their family (i.e., Ramsey is the father of two of Tate's nieces) -- that boiled over onto the football field recently when the two exchanged blows at midfield following the Rams win over the Giants in Week 4. How things would unfold with both of them on the same roster, locker room and practice field is something the Rams would need to consider before bringing in Tate, regardless of his love of Stafford.
And if they do consider him, it would be a huge nod to Stafford's influence with his new club.
As far as Tate's ability to still perform at a high level goes, it's very much in question. He was awarded only four starts in 12 games last season and his 388 receiving yards with two touchdowns were marks low enough to be comparable to his rookie season -- when he had zero starts in 2010. But despite it all, and being on the wrong side of 30, Tate feels he's not on the decline. Instead, he feels he's actually improving as time goes on.
"I'm like a fine wine: I just get better with age," he said. "I haven't had any major injuries. For the most part I'm on the field. I think I've been great in the locker room.
"Unfortunately, last year was kind of a COVID [problem] and everything going on just didn't go my way as far as getting the ball. But I made the most of the opportunities that I did have. You look at when I did get the ball in my hands. I was making contested catches in the slot, down the field, wherever it may be.
"I'm looking forward to just getting opportunities. Because I have no doubt once I get opportunities, I'll prove how good I am and how good I've been over the years."
Time will tell if the Rams, Titans and/or Colts show interest in Tate, but he's already showing lots of interest in them.