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Tate caught off-guard by Harvin's jealousy accusation

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Dearborn — Lions wide receiver Golden Tate responded to accusations his former teammate Percy Harvin made in a recent story, calling Tate jealous during their time together with the Seattle Seahawks.

Though Tate said he thought their relationship was fine — until Monday's profile on Harvin in The Buffalo News — he took a subtle dig at his former teammate following the Lions' practice Monday night at Dearborn's Edsel Ford High.

"I know it didn't work out with the Vikings, the Seahawks or the Jets, so I hope the best for him out there in Buffalo," Tate said. "I think it's a great fit for him, and I want to see him ball out."

Tate reiterated at the end of the interview that he wanted to see Harvin "ball out" and that "he's one of the best players in this league." So when he said he has no hard feelings toward Harvin, Tate sounded sincere.

Yet, Harvin's comments caught Tate by surprise. In addition to the idea that Tate and Doug Baldwin were threatened by Harvin's heavy usage in practice, Harvin confirmed that he was involved in separate fights with Tate and Baldwin.

Tate said he's not sure what the root of Harvin's recent comments was.

"I think he's kind of had it unfair a little bit, I guess," Tate said. "He's trying to repair his image, and he just wants to tell his side of the story. … I don't think everything in that was totally true."

Tate and Harvin spent 2013 together after the Seahawks traded for Harvin, a first-round pick by Minnesota in 2009. Harvin played just one regular season game, but played a key role in the postseason run, including scoring on a kickoff return to open the second half of Seattle's Super Bowl win over the Denver Broncos.

After winning the title, Tate signed with the Lions as a free agent, and mid-way through 2014, Seattle traded him to the Jets. New York released him earlier this offseason, which led to his signing with the Bills.

The last time Tate spoke with Harvin was when the Seahawks visited the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory in May 2014, and Tate said their interaction that day and night was fine.

"I was a bit surprised," Tate said of the new comments. "I didn't see that coming. I haven't played with him in … going on two years now. I'm not the one who released him from the team, and actually after the Super Bowl, he was giving out, 'Hey man, good game. I love you, glad we're playing together.' And I was saying the same thing.

"So, it kind of came out of right field that I had to hear those comments, but it is what it is. I still appreciate him, actually, as a teammate for the short time we played together. And I actually learned some things from him, so I wish him the best."

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

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