Whoa: The Lions Are Reportedly Trading Leading WR Golden Tate to the Eagles

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Whoa: The Lions Are Reportedly Trading Leading WR Golden Tate to the Eagles

Chicago Bears

The NFC North race just received an unexpected jolt of intrigue in a move I’m not sure we saw coming:

The Detroit Lions are reportedly trading wide receiver Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles for a third-round pick. Tate is the Lions’ leading receiver this season, with 44 catches and 517 yards in seven games. And while Detroit wasn’t necessarily out of the playoff picture, the team clearly saw value in acquiring a third-round pick for a receiver who will be a free agent at the end of the year.

But still … the Bears have two games to play against the Lions and facing them without the threat of Tate shredding the defense eases some stress we would have otherwise had if Tate was still on the team. Then again, the Vikings still get the Lions twice – including the first shot at the Tate-less team on Sunday. Talk about good timing! The Packers aren’t as fortunate; they’ll see the Lions just once more this season.

As for Tate’s future, he will arrive in Philadelphia playing at a high level. Tate is on pace for 101 receptions, 1,182 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns. And even though Tate hasn’t produced just one 100-yard receiving game since Week 3 and has been held out of the end zone in three straight games, going to Doug Pederson’s innovative offense could keep the good times rolling.

Perhaps we should have seen this coming. Back in May, we made note of a report that “substantive contract talks” between the Lions and Tate had yet to begin. That’s when Tate was coming off a third straight season with 90+ catches and 1,000+ receiving yards. And if he was looking for a mega-deal in the offseason, it makes sense why the Lions moved him. Because while moving Tate gives Matthew Stafford one fewer reliable target, it also opens up playing time for the likes of Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. moving forward. So even though a Tate-less Lions team is a little less dangerous now than what it was before, that group still has some developing talent that has the arrow pointing up.

We’ll continue to update you as more deals come through the pipeline.

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.