Released WR is a ‘golden’ opportunity for the Carolina Panthers

(Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) Golden Tate
(Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) Golden Tate /

Golden Tate’s recent release represents a solid option for the Carolina Panthers if wide receiver Curtis Samuel departs in free agency.

With all the uncertainties about which players’ jobs are safe with the Carolina Panthers this offseason, it’s hard to tell what plans head coach Matt Rhule and new general manager Scott Fitterer have in store.

However, with the recent release of wide receiver Golden Tate by the New York Giants, the Panthers have a tremendous opportunity to sign a skilled leader to their roster.

With hot wideout duo Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore’s contracts expiring next year – although the former first-round pick’s fifth-year option will be taken up – and potentially losing Curtis Samuel on the free-agent market after a sensational 2020 campaign, the Panthers need a player on the roster who can not only act like a leader but also help attract coverage to allow others to make plays.

The Super Bowl XLVIII champion has shown his skills over a considerable period of time. Tate also has the potential to guide and mentor other younger wide receivers on the team.

Golden Tate would bring a lot to the Carolina Panthers.

Tate has an impressive resume, including experience, speed, agility, and can catch almost any pass low to high. The 5-foot-10 receiver plays aggressively and has excellent footwork, which would fit in well with what Rhule is trying to build in Carolina.

He has had a successful 10-year career and runs a 4.42-second 40-yard dash.

While his 2020 stats were less than spectacular – Pro Football Focus gave him an overall grade of 66.0  – Tate boasts several skills the Panthers are desperate for if they want to compete.

Specifically, his route running on both long passes and short routes can break any defense if applied correctly. With another deep runner as a threat, this will also open pockets in opposing secondaries, which should allow Moore and Anderson to get open for big yardage.

During the 2019 season, Tate was a top-50 receiver and attained a PFF rating of 74.0. He recorded 676 receiving yards, tied 20th across the league with six touchdowns, and his speed pushed him to average 13.8 yards per reception.

Tate’s career stats since arriving in the NFL as a second-round pick out of Notre Dame are impressive.

  • 695 receptions
  • 66.8 percent catch success
  • 8, 278 receiving yards
  • 11.9 yards-per-reception
  • 51.7 yards-per-game
  • 46 touchdowns
  • 4.9 rushing yards-per-carry

Tate knows how to attract defenders, block for others, break tackles and defenders ankles with his swift jukes. Whether or not Samuel leaves this offseason, he would be a valuable asset to the receiving core in Carolina.