Now that the Eagles are out of the playoffs, we can assess the controversial trade from October.
“The trade is officially worth it.”
Those were the words uttered by NBC color commentator Cris Collinsworth last week after Philadelphia Eagles receiver Golden Tate pulled in what would end up being the game-winning touchdown in the Wild Card game against the Chicago Bears .
Unfortunately for the Eagles, the dream for back-to-back championships ended there, as Philly couldn’t hold onto their early 14-0 lead over the Saints the following week and were ultimately eliminated in the divisional round.
Collinsworth’s comments were obviously a bit premature and caught up in the emotions of the moment, but now that we know all of the factors in play, it’s time to re-evaluate the trade made at the deadline for Golden Tate . As a reminder, with eight games left to play for the Eagles (nine for the Detroit Lions ), Detroit sent Golden Tate to Philly for a 2019 third-round pick.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Who won the Golden Tate trade?
My answer: First, let’s look at all the factors here. After the Golden Tate trade, the Lions went 3-6. The Eagles went 5-3, then 1-1 in the postseason. The Lions’ offensive plummeted when Tate left, while the Eagles got some, but not a ton, of production out of Tate. Here are his stats with Philly:
Regular season (8 games): 30 catches, 278 yards, 1 TD
Postseason (2 games): 7 catches, 64 yards, 1 TD
Tate was basically a non-factor in the Eagles’ divisional loss (two catches, 18 yards) against a Saints team we had seen him dominate with the Lions.
Ultimately, the Eagles will be picking 25th in each round, meaning the Lions are getting a late third-round pick for losing Tate.
So while I think Tate is likely the main(but not only) reason Detroit’s offense took a nosedive in the last two months of the season, I really view them as the winners of this trade. Tate didn’t do much to transform the Eagles offense down the stretch, averaging fewer than 40 yards per game. Sure, he made a few big catches for the team, but it ultimately only got them to the divisional round, and they were pretty lucky they even made it that far.
That being said, it doesn’t feel like the Lions are big winners out of this trade, either. The last half of the season was downright embarrassing for the Lions offense, and now the team is on the search for a new offensive coordinator and the franchise quarterback is under fire. All that for a late third-round pick.
When it comes down to it, the Lions and Eagles are both out of the playoffs. The Lions still have something remaining from the trade, while the Eagles only have early negotiating rights for Golden Tate. On that basis alone, it’s clear the Lions were the winners here.