Detroit — Everyone understands extending quarterback Matthew Stafford is the Detroit Lions’ priority this offseason. After that, it’s probably defensive end Ziggy Ansah. And assuming he continues his upward trajectory, tight end Eric Ebron could also be in line for a new deal with the franchise as well.
But Golden Tate, who is under contract for two more seasons, doesn’t want to be left out of the mix.
Sparked by news of a recent extension signed by Julian Edelman with New England this week, Tate hinted on both his Twitter and Instagram accounts he’d love to re-up with the Lions in the near future.
He reiterated that interest at the team’s charity softball game on Saturday, but also pointed out there’s no real rush.
“I just saw my buddy get extended and that’s obviously the goal,” Tate said. “I have this season and next season before I can really think about it. (The tweet) wasn’t malicious or me hinting at it. Well, I’m hinting at it in a few years, of course.
“I would love to stay here,” Tate said. “I’m having a lot of fun, we have a great foundation, I love where we’re going and I’d love to be here, but we’ll see. We’ve still got time.”
Tate has been a value for the Lions, easily outperforming the five-year, $31 million pact he agreed to in 2014. He’s started all 48 games, catching at least 90 passes each of the past three seasons. His elusiveness in the open field has been his calling card, generating more missed tackles than anyone at his position, according to Pro Football Focus.
One thing Tate understands is that his individual performance will only get him so far. The team needs to continue to win games to justify keeping its core together.
“Winners stay around, losers, they start finding substitutions,” Tate said. “I’d love to stay here, as long as you guys accept me here, want me here. I’m having fun, we’re starting to win games. That’s important. Hopefully, Bob Quinn, Rod Wood, (Jim) Caldwell and Jim Bob (Cooter) want me around.
“Collectively, if we win games and I do my part, I hope there’s (contract) talks,” Tate said. “We’ll see. It’s a long way away, as far as I’m concerned.”