When the free agent frenzy began in March, the Seattle Seahawks were looking to sign key players like Michael Bennett to long term deals. After signing Bennett, the focus turned to Golden Tate. Seattle fans will remember Tate saying to Seattle Sports Radio 950 KJR “Honestly, I would rather take a little less to be happy and win ballgames than to take way more and go to a crappy city.”
These days, Tate is running routes opposite of Calvin Johnson, catching balls from Matthew Stafford and hanging out with the rest of the Detroit Lions to the tune of a five-year, $31 million deal. Seattle fans will also remember Tate’s career high 64 receptions and 898 receiving yards this past season to go along with his five touchdowns and this bone crushing block, but ultimately remember him for leaving the team.
And I’m not saying that he is a traitor and we should hate him. Nope. Seattle has an amazing way of finding talent where others overlook and there are other options who Russell Wilson can throw the ball to instead of Tate.
1. The Rookies
The 2014 NFL Draft saw the Seahawks bring in two receivers in Paul Richardson from the University of Colorado and Kevin Norwood from the University of Alabama. Both receivers are coming off career years in their respective colleges. Richardson is 6’1”, 172 lbs. and fast clocking in a 4.40 40-yard dash. He is taller and leaner than Tate and could provide that burst of speed on the outside that could potentially burn opponent’s corners. Norwood is nearly the same at 6’2”, 197 lbs. and running a 4.48 40-yard dash. With his big body, Norwood could act as a more possession receiver that could convert those critical third down plays to first downs. The Seahawks have struggled as of late on third down so that is a welcome presence.
Both Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse were huge in the 2013 season and will find only more room to improve and establish themselves as elite receivers. Combined, the two scored nine touchdowns and caught for over 1,100 yards on 72 receptions. They are steady fixtures for Pete Carroll’s offense and have reliable hands that pull down anything near them. Add in the fact that they are young guys that have more to prove means that there will be continued success for Baldwin and Kearse. Seattle’s offense may not be as revered as the Legion of Boom and company, but these two have provided dramatic and critical receptions when the offense needed it most.
3. Sidney Rice will have a big year
There’s something to be said to a guy that after eight years in the league and suffering a multitude of injuries, he still wants to come back and win more football games for less pay than what other teams offered him. For that, Sidney Rice will always have my respect. That’s why I think the league shouldn't sleep on the mammoth receiver. Despite the injuries, Sidney Rice throws his entire body into the catch and makes it look easy. He is easily the biggest target on the team and can pull down the balls that smaller defenses just can’t defend. And just like Norwood, he can be the target on third down that moves the chains for Russ and the rest of the offense.
Oh yeah… There’s also this guy.