ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The Detroit Lions have landed one of their top free-agency targets.
The team announced Wednesday that it has agreed to a five-year deal with wide receiver Golden Tate. Terms were not disclosed, but Tate told ESPN’s Josina Anderson the deal is for $31 million with $13.25 million guaranteed.
Tate had flown to Detroit on Tuesday to meet with the team and spent Wednesday at the facility. Receiver is a priority for the Lions both in free agency and the draft, and Tate offers versatility, being able to play both in the slot and outside.
“I feel like I’m going to get a lot of balls, the other receivers are going to get a lot of balls,” Tate said. “That’s exciting. Especially coming from a run-heavy offense where all the notoriety went to the defense, I’m super excited about that opportunity, but I see myself being a great complement to Calvin (Johnson) and him being a great complement to myself.”
Tate also explained his decision to sign with Detroit instead of the Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars or New York Jets.
“It wasn’t as tempting with the Jets or the Jags. More so with Seattle,” Tate said. “I had a great four years in Seattle and I’m going to miss that place to death. Great city. Great people. Great fans. But for me, it just made more sense to come here. I could see a ton of upside in the vision this organization has and that I have is all the same and I’m excited just to be a part of something special.”
Tate, 25, is the second free-agent receiver the Lions have signed in the past 24 hours. The team agreed to re-sign Kevin Ogletree to a one-year deal on Tuesday.
“[He] definitely would be a valuable piece to this already deadly offense,” Lions running back Joique Bell said earlier Wednesday, before a deal was reached.
Tate had the best season of his career in 2013, with 64 receptions for 898 yards. He also was one of the top punt returners in the league, averaging 11.5 yards per return on 51 attempts.
He was a second-round draft choice by the Seahawks out of Notre Dame in 2010 and had 12 touchdown catches over the past two seasons, including one of the most memorable plays in each of those years.
The first was the so-called “Fail Mary” or “Inaccurate Reception,” when a replacement official ruled Tate had control of the ball as he fell in the end zone on the final play against Green Bay in the second game of 2012. Tate was battling Packers defender M.D. Jennings for possession.
The second was in St. Louis last October, when Tate scored on an 80-yard catch-and-run down the sideline but was flagged for taunting as he stuck out his hand to Rams defender Rodney McLeod to indicate McLeod could not catch him. Tate later apologized for the taunt.
ESPN.com Seahawks reporter Terry Blount contributed to this report.Previously covered University of Michigan for ESPN.com and AnnArbor.com
Also covered Notre Dame for Fort Wayne Journal Gazette