The Seattle Seahawks are Super Bowl champs after pounding the Denver Broncos on the NFL’s biggest stage. A celebratory parade has come and gone, and now it is time to think about the future.
This team has the potential to be a contender for several years, but the NFL can be a difficult league for sustained success. The NFL is not a big fan of dynasties. Dynasties are boring. Competition is good. Hence the salary cap, which forces teams to pick and choose rather than apply a New York Yankees-philosophy of outpricing the entire league.
Translation? Not everyone can get paid top dollar. Will this impact Golden Tate?
How did the Seahawks win the Super Bowl? They had a plan and they drafted well. Obviously this is what every team would like to do. Who wouldn’t want to get Russell Wilson in the third round and Richard Sherman in the fifth?
From a financial standpoint, the Seahawks have done very well in terms of young stars becoming relevant while they are still quite affordable. Unfortunately, that cannot last forever.
This brings us to Tate. On paper, Tate is worth a big payday. He does not necessarily have the numbers to be considered a so-called “No.1″ receiver, but in the Seahawks system he doesn’t have to be. Wilson threw 98 balls his way in 2012, and in four years Tate’s receptions have grown each season (21/35/45/64).
The dilemma is whether you lock yourself into a Tate when you already have Percy Harvin on the payroll and other priorities such as Sherman, Earl Thomas, Michael Bennett and eventually Russell Wilson. Tate has indicated that he might be willing to agree to a “hometown discount,” but that may just be talk.
If Tate and his agent have an overvalued sense of what he is worth and then apply a 5% discount, it may still be more than the Seahawks want to spend on a second receiver. Still, at age 25 Tate is arguably coming into his prime and he would be a quality player to lock up.
Then again, Wilson seems like the type of quarterback that can get the ball to a variety of receivers even if they are not “stars.” It will also be interesting to see if the Seahawks are willing to re-sign a number of their young stars, or if they will have a mentality that emphasizes competition and replacement through the draft.
In the end, it seems reasonable to assume that Tate may get re-signed. However, as noted by Josh Davis of 12th Man Rising, there may be a franchise out there that is willing to overpay for Tate and make a splash in the free agent market.
Stay tuned. This one is too early to call.