Golden Tate, who recently signed with Detroit after four seasons in Seattle, was on 710 ESPN Seattle this afternoon, and had some interesting things to say about how negotiations went in free agency. You can listen to the entire interview here.
Tate reiterated what he had said before free agency began—that he had hoped to stay in Seattle, and was willing to take somewhat of a discount to do so—but said what Seattle and Detroit were offering weren’t comparable.
“I really had no choice,” he said. “I did my best to stay in Seattle. I came out to the public and said I will take a discount. I’m just not going to take 40 percent off.”
Tate said the Seahawks told him he was a top priority, but didn’t show it when it came time to talk numbers: “The numbers they shot at me were not first-priority kind of numbers. I said I want to stay in Seattle, I want to play there for a long, long time.”
“Seattle offered me a number that was laughable… Considering I was there four years, a starter two of those years. I missed one game in two years, including the playoffs. I’m in the community, did everything right, was not a trouble maker, everyone loved me in the locker room.”
Tate’s reaction to Seattle’s offer, he said, was, “Is this serious?”
Tate, who also talked to the Jaguars and Jets in free agency, said the difference between Seattle’s offer and Detroit’s was sizable: “I was going to earn in one year (in Detroit) what I would earn in two years (in Seattle)… It was a no-brainer.”
In addition to better money, Tate is also excited for the opportunity to play in an offense that throws significantly more than Seattle does, and that also has a dominant No. 1 receiver in Calvin Johnson who will give Tate plenty of favorable coverage looks.
“As a receiver does it get any better?” he said. “I’m going from a run-heavy offense to a pass-happy offense where I’m going to get a ton of opportunities. I honestly feel like I’m going to be able to be the player that I’ve always imagined myself being.”
Tate was complimentary of the Seahawks organization, saying he talked to Pete Carroll and John Schneider after signing and that there was no animosity, though he was surprised by the reaction of some fans on Twitter.
“It’s been really interesting,” he said. “I’m really surprise honestly. I think the world of the 12s, I always will, but there’s a large group of 12s who very, very quickly turned on me… I honestly felt like I did give everything I could to the city of Seattle.”