By Brady Henderson
As much as Golden Tate wanted to stay in Seattle, he says the offer he received from the Seahawks gave him no choice but to leave.
That was the point Tate tried to get across during a candid interview in which he expressed some lingering displeasure over the lack of effort he says Seattle made to re-sign him and responded to the criticism of those who have failed to realize that’s the reason he’s no longer a Seahawk.
“I really had no choice. I tried. I tried. I did my very best to stay in Seattle, and I hope you guys believe what I’m saying,” he told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” on Tuesday. “I tried. I came out to the public and said I will take a discount, people – I didn’t say I was going to take 40-50 percent off – but I will take a discount. And it still wasn’t enough.”
“I think the world of the 12s and I always will, but there’s a large group of 12s who have quickly … turned on me,” Golden Tate told 710 ESPN Seattle, “and it’s kind of bothered me because I honestly felt like I did give everything I possibly could to the city of Seattle. (AP)
Since signing a five-year, $31 million deal with Detroit last week, Tate says he has been upset with the vitriolic comments he’s received from fans who feel he reneged on his stated willingness to take slightly less money to re-sign with the Seahawks.
“I’m just appalled at the attitudes I’ve received on Twitter from the people who I thought were Golden Tate fans and really thought highly of the Seahawks,” he said, “but people are starting to show their true colors and that’s something that I just really don’t appreciate because I gave everything to Seattle that I possible could.”
Tate’s contract with the Lions includes a reported $13.25 million guaranteed. While he didn’t mention specific numbers, he said Seattle made two offers that were not only significantly less than what he’s making in Detroit but “laughable” considering what he felt he deserved.
Tate thought he had positioned himself well for a much bigger deal, citing the positive influence he had in the locker room and the community in addition to what he did on the field. He described a sense of disbelief at how differently the Seahawks saw it.
“I did everything right, and the offer that they offered, it was like, ‘Is this serious?’ ” he said. “But the organization is offering guys from other places almost three times what they even offered me. And I was kind of like, ‘Are you serious? I’ve given literally everything and this is what you give me.’ “
Losing Tate is an example of attrition that is inevitable for Super Bowl winners, whose rosters become impossible to keep entirely intact as other teams poach the free agents whose appeal and value rise following a championship run. That leads to difficult decisions like the one Seattle made with Tate, which he said he understands.
“When you win championships, other teams want those guys and other teams are willing to pay a lot more to get those guys. I get it,” he said. “But I felt like I was undervalued a little bit when it came to the numbers considering what all I had done.”
Despite that, Tate left Seattle on good terms with the Seahawks. He said the moment he signed his contract with Detroit he was inundated for the remainder of the day with calls from throughout the Seahawks organization, including teammates, trainers, coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider.
“I’m a Detroit Lion, but the first team I was drafted by was Seattle and I had a great time and as a city we all accomplished a lot,” Tate said. “That’s something I will never, ever forget. We accomplished a lot for the first time. We won the first ever Super Bowl, so Seattle still has a place in my heart no matter how much they bad-mouthed me or how much they [offered] me. I love Seattle.
“For the fans who are loyal Golden Tate fans and loyal Seahawks fans who can put their feet in other people’s shoes, I appreciate it. I appreciate it and I always will.”