Golden Tate says Matthew Stafford is the best quarterback he's played with

Jack BaerYahoo Sports Contributor


As he prepares to take the field with his fourth NFL team in the New York Giants, it’s safe to say that Golden Tate has had a solid career up to this point.

The Notre Dame product won a Super Bowl ring during his four years with the Seattle Seahawks, then posted three 1,000-yard seasons with the Detroit Lions before getting traded to the Philadelphia Eagles and signing with the Giants in free agency.

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Among the quarterbacks that Tate has worked with are Matt Hasselback, Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford, Carson Wentz and Nick Foles. While most would put forth Wilson as the best out of that group, including in the latest “Madden” video game ratings, Tate apparently thinks differently.

Golden Tate has high praise for Matthew Stafford

Speaking with Bernie Smilovitz of ClickOnDetroit, Tate reflected on his four-and-a-half seasons with the Lions and the quarterback responsible for almost all of the passes he caught:

“I think Stafford’s been the best quarterback I’ve played with. The guy can flat-out play. He’s tough and his attitude’s amazing and he just wants to play ball. I have nothing but praises for him.

“It’s almost unfair that he’s such a good player and doesn’t have playoffs or a ring to show for it,” Tate said. “That kind of hurts my heart that I wasn’t able to help change that. I think, over his career, if you put him in another organization, maybe things are different. I don’t know, because I played with some guys over my years that have won playoff games with that I don’t think are as good.”

Wilson is widely seen as the superior quarterback thanks to his Super Bowl win and years of holding together what has been a patchwork Seahawks offense, but Tate definitely saw more production catching passes from Stafford.

Golden Tate had the most productive seasons of his career in Detroit. (Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Golden Tate had the most productive seasons of his career in Detroit. (Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

In his four full seasons with Detroit and Stafford, Tate averaged 93 receptions, 1,056 receiving yards and 4.8 touchdowns per season. In his two years in Seattle when Wilson was the starting QB, Tate had an average of 54.5 receptions, 793 yards and 6.0 touchdowns. Of course, there was also a 15-point disparity in passer rating with Tate between the passers that favored Wilson, so Tate’s success with Stafford might be more attributable to volume.

Tate’s personal relationship with Wilson, which doesn’t seem too chummy, is probably a significant factor for Tate’s comparison.

Still, Tate probably got paid by the Giants due to his time playing with Stafford more than Wilson or any other quarterback, be it a former MVP candidate in Wentz, a Super Bowl MVP in Foles and another Seahawks great in Hasselback.

We’ll see where Eli Manning and/or Daniel Jones end up in the rankings.

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