It’s not surprising Tate would say that. Since signing with the Lions during free agency in 2014, Tate has caught at least 90 passes every year. During the past three seasons, Tate is No. 6 in the NFL in receptions with 280 and No. 10 in receiving yards with 3,221.
He’s also the NFL’s leader in yards after catch since 2014 with 1,831 yards and Pro Football Focus posted a statistic that he accounted for 73 missed tackles since 2014 — also best in the NFL among receivers. Tate tweeted that stat Thursday after Julian Edelman, who is also one of the better receivers in the league at making defenders miss, signed a two-year, $15 million extension. As part of that, Tate said he hoped he would also get extended soon.
Tate will make $6 million in cash this year with a $8,351,250 cap hit. Next year, he’ll make $7 million in cash with a cap hit of $9,351,250. He explained his tweet further Saturday before playing in the softball game and participating in the home run derby.
“Just saw my buddy get extended and that’s obviously the goal,” Tate said. “I have this season and next season until I can really think about it, but it wasn’t nothing malicious or mean hinting at it. I mean, I’m hinting at it in a few years, of course.
“I would love to stay here. I’m having a lot of fun. We have a great foundation. I love where we’re going so I’d love to be here but we’ll see. I’ve still got time.”
The Lions have made two playoff appearances in three seasons since Tate’s arrival and he helped the franchise deal with the early retirement of Calvin Johnson last year. Tate said he hopes if things go well in 2017 that they do have extension talks, but also that it’s still a “long way away as far as I’m concerned.”
He did, though, say he would be open to finishing his career in Detroit.
“Yeah. Definitely. I would love to stay here as long as you guys want me here,” Tate said. “Like I said, I’m having fun. We’re starting to win games and that’s important. Bob Quinn and Rod Wood and Caldwell and Jim Bob want me around, I’ll stay around as long as they’ll have me.”