Entering his 11th season in the NFL, Golden Tate has had a number of different quarterbacks toss him the ball. But the recently acquired New York Giants receiver says one former teammate stands above the rest.
"(Matthew) Stafford's been the best quarterback I've played with," Tate told ClickOnDetroit.com. "The guy can flat-out play, he's tough, and his attitude is amazing and he just wants to play ball. For me, I have nothing but praises for him."
Tate spent four years with Stafford and the Detroit Lions before he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018. The 30-year-old had three campaigns with the Lions during which he surpassed 1,000 receiving yards, and he totaled 19 touchdowns.
The Lions failed to win a playoff game during Tate's tenure despite twice qualifying for the postseason. However, the receiver attributes that lack of success to Stafford's supporting cast rather than to the quarterback himself.
"It's almost unfair that he's such a good player and doesn't have playoffs or a ring to show for it," Tate said. "That kind of hurts my heart that I wasn't able to help change that. I think over his career, if you put him in another organization, maybe things are different. I don't know. I played with some guys over my years that I've won playoff games with that I don't think are as good."
Among the signal-callers who Tate has played with during his NFL career, the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson has experienced the most success, both on a personal level and with his team. Wilson is a five-time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl champion, and he's accumulated a 75-36-1 record while posting a 100.3 quarterback rating. Comparably, Stafford has made one Pro Bowl visit and led the Lions to a 66-75 career record with a QB rating of 88.4.
Tate didn't serve in as prominent of a role in Seattle's run-heavy offense as he did with the Lions, who he believes have a bright future.
"Detroit will always have a place in my heart and I'll always root for Detroit, except for when they're playing the Giants now," Tate said. "I'll miss that place.
"I think they're trending up. I'm excited to see what they do in the future."
- With h/t to NFL.com